How to Develop a Safety Calendar for the New Year

Creating a detailed calendar for your business’s safety goals for the year can help you to achieve them, but it’s important that you learn how to set your goals and how to follow through with them. Sadly, it’s not enough to simply want to improve your company’s safety culture or to just say, “I would like to reduce the number of on-the-job accidents this year”; it takes careful consideration of the objective beforehand and hard, consistent work to achieve the goal. I hope my last post was helpful in convincing you to work on a safety calendar for 2018, and now I’d like to go into a little more detail on how you can create a safety calendar that will help you to achieve all of your safety goals.

Set the Right Goals

Don’t set arbitrary goals based on what you think you should be doing or what your competitors are doing. Take an informed approach. Here are a few quick tips:

  1. Take a look at your current safety culture. A good way to do this is to deploy our employee safety culture survey with your employees.
  2. Look at the requisite OSHA standards that require annual training.
  3. Look at the claims trends from the prior year and use that to set your training priorities.

Once you’ve assessed what needs to be done, it’s time to make your goals specific and progress-oriented. You’ve probably heard of SMART goals, which are:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • AAttainable
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Time Bound

These components will provide you with more direction than an arbitrary goal. Rather than saying, “Improve safety training processes this year”, set goals like, “Every employee will have ten hours of training when they are hired, and will attend an additional two-hour safety training once per month”, or “Implement gamification measures to increase employee engagement with safety training.”

It is also important to distinguish between numerical and descriptive goals, and have significant representation of both goals on your safety calendar.

  • Numerical goals are goals that can be measured by numbers or data (example: “Reduce yearly workplace injuries to x number”). It is easier to assess the progress of these types of goals and gives employees something more concrete to work towards; however, it is important to make sure that the figures set in these goals are not arbitrary but instead are realistic yet competitive destinations for your business.
  • Descriptive goals are goals set in broader terms (example: “Create a safety program that assesses all potential workplace hazards and takes measures to control or reduce them”). While these goals are not necessarily quantifiable, they should still set some form of reachable objective. In addition, these goals can be helpful in setting additional objectives based on their progress.

Be Realistic

You have to think very carefully and very far in advance when setting your safety goals. Don’t let the excitement of a new year get you carried away; you need to make sure you’re providing yourself and your team with adequate time and resources to achieve your safety goals. Remember last year when we discussed having multiple safety committees?  Having a committee devoted solely to planning your safety calendar is a great idea.  This takes the responsibility off one person, creates a team dynamic to strengthen relationships, and allows for multiple streams of input. When you increase the participation of the training development, you also increase the participation of the learners going through the training.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all safety solution for businesses. You need to consider your industry, your company, and your employees in order to set objectives that will truly improve your organization’s safety culture. Good luck, I hope you have a safe year!

 

About Compass RMS

The risk management firm Risk Management, Inc. has specialized in workers’ compensation since 1996, creating the CWCP (Certified Workers’ Compensation Professional) program in 1999 and the P4 process in 2000. We launched our Compass Risk Management platform in 2008 and recently released version 4.0. For more information about our services, give us a call at (770) 534-2042 to speak with one of our consultants.