The last day of 2019 seems a good time to reflect on the year and peek into 2020. Year-end often brings financial reviews and sales and operational predictions for the next calendar year, and we’d be remiss to not include safety. After all, safety touches all aspects of business and all aspects of business touch safety.
As you wrap up 2019, think about the activities you’ve engaged in that made a difference in your organization’s safety culture. A little retrospective analysis might be good for us all before we uncork the champagne at midnight.
Did your organization reach its safety goals for 2019? If your answer is “what goals?” then you have some work to do in 2020. If a goal is never set, it will never be reached. Safety goals are just as important as any other goals established for your organization. Use these tips to get going in the right direction for the new year:
- Set safety goals by using the SMART format. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, and Timely. If you need a primer on SMART, check out our January 2015 post entitled, “The New Year’s Resolution We Should All Make.”
- Once you’ve established the goal, progress must be tracked continually.
- Remember- to change safety performance, more specifically—to reduce workplace injuries—something new or different must occur. Doing the same thing as last year will likely bring the same results as last year. So set shorter and smaller SMART goals throughout the year to support the overall objectives.
- If you have a safety committee, ask yourself these questions:
- Did the committee meet as scheduled with no cancellations?
- Did the committee make recommendations to management and follow up on those recommendations?
- Did the committee follow through with projects and workplace improvements?
- Did the committee conduct site inspections and incident investigations?
If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, it might be time to revamp your safety committee program. A committee can be very effective in safety culture improvement. However, it can also fail entirely if organizational priorities are elsewhere. Meeting once a month, eating a few donuts, and determining that everything is fine doesn’t come close to fulfilling the committee’s potential.
2019 brought plenty of challenges to our lives as each and every year does. However, we all can choose our attitude every day. We can be kind and helpful to our friends, family, and coworkers. Tomorrow is an official holiday, but I like to say that “every day is a holiday.” When people are working safely, and injuries are reduced, it sure is a lot easier to feel like each day is a gift. Health and wellness are so important to all of our lives, and if you’re in a leadership position, you have a significant influence on people’s lives. Ensuring they go home every night the same way they came to work is a noble and important goal. As we bid 2019 farewell, please look to 2020 with the determination to keep everyone on your team safe. For the best safety advice available anywhere, check out our resources at MEMIC.com, including our video lending library, the Safety Director, workshops and webinars, and our new MEMIC Safety Experts podcast. All of us at MEMIC wish you the happiest--and safest--2020.