June is national safety month. It’s a good time for small businesses to take another good look at their safety records and procedures. A. Duie Pyle, a northeast trucking company, is an excellent example of how good safety policies work.
Over the last three years, the company has improved its injury and accident rates 52 percent and 23 percent respectively. Peter Dannecker, Vice President of Risk and Integrated Resources, spoke with Small Business Trends about how small businesses can stay safe.
Workplace Safety Tips
Weave Safety Into the Fabric of Your Business
There aren’t many departments that can stand apart in a successful business. According to Dannecker, safety needs to be part of the culture at work.
“When safety is a separate thing you do, it’s never the priority it needs to be,” he says.
Make it Customer-centric
You need to keep remembering serving your customers is why you’re in business. Customers, without exception, want the lowest price and best quality for goods and services.
“The bottom line is anything like an accident or injury is a lack of quality which is waste,” Dannecker says.
Waste is inefficient and can drive prices up. Long story short. You need to see safety as an integrated part of customer service.
Make Safety Personal
Changing the focus on safety can make a big difference. Sharing a story about something as small as tripping on a rug can make it a more personal affair. Engaging your team is a good idea because they know where the hazards are and what to watch for.
“If you ask them, they often have great tips for resolving issues,” Dannecker points out.
Do the Right Thing
It goes a long way when small business management cares about employee safety. Look at employees as family members and you’ll make sure they have the training and equipment to stay safe.
This is a great way to leverage safety training for employees with flexible schedules. For example, online training courses are perfect for sales people who are always on the road. They get the necessary information and can work through the courses at their own speeds.
Some insurance companies will even foot the bill for devices that track a company’s drivers. This is a cost effective way to improve their skills and your safety record.
Management should always be looking to head safety trouble off at the pass by seeing issues before they develop into accidents. Once again, Dannecker explains his approach.
“Anything that you do in advance and early is always more cost effective than reacting later,” he says.
Get the Right Help
Finally, finding a consultant is a good move for small businesses looking to identify potential trouble spots.
“Talking to your insurance carrier or Googling consultants is a good idea,” Dannecker says.
Circular Saw Photo via Shutterstock
Safety should extend from not just the employees but the customers as well. They will appreciate the extra care put into making the products that they buy.
Everyone needs to do their part, Aira.