Ready, Set, Produce !
Safety Programs start at the top
A safe work environment is one of the most important initiatives an employer can have to protect their most vital asset: human capital. Creating a safe and productive work environment has been as elusive as Murphy’s law in some industries, while for others, it has been as predictive as selecting a winning football program.
An effective safety program can have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line either by increasing or reducing it. Knowing that each company owner wears many hats, they spend less time in promoting anything that does not have a huge impact on the bottom line. So let’s talk about how this impacts the bottom line!
When employees are working they create habits based on the premise, “How can I complete this task?”
In certain production environments, the common worker is measured by how much they are able to produce in a day, a week, a month and a quarter. So if an employee is lagging in their quota they may look for short cuts to produce more in order to get on track.
Same with football players, they create habits that place them in the right spot at the right time, but when they have a habit breakdown mistakes are made. Late in the fourth quarter of a football game they talk about how top performers are in a zone. Or, are they staying within their practiced habits (a routine)? These players are trying to maximize their output in a defined timeframe and, when it works, a team can come back to win the game. More often than not, they fall short by either a turnover or not getting in the end zone before the time expires which means a mistake has happened.
This is true for any work environment. So how are mistakes eliminated on the field of play? Coaches and players have meaningful practices that create a more automatic response to “in the moment situations”. Those who have sound practice principles have more consistent results. A great example of this is the New England Patriots. No matter if you like them or not, you have to admire that they are able to plug in players and execute their game plan.
These same principles can work in any other environment. When business owners, managers, and supervisors believe in safety, their employees will execute their job with minimal mistakes. If you do not make safety a routine part of the workplace, it may lead to a damaged product, equipment or more importantly injured employees.
When equipment fails, it will impact production while it is being repaired or replaced. If an employee is injured, then the direct loss is a person(s) will not be able to do their job and their production is reduced or halts for a period of time. The indirect cost may include having to train another person, which leads to an increase in production cost. In some cases, this leads to a larger mistake. The substitute may not be familiar with the task and they may injure themselves as well. Thus, the original injured employee will have an impact by either increasing cost or reducing productivity, which may lead to the team not making their goal before time expires.
In summary, accidents are unavoidable but a meaningful safety program will reduce a lag in production by keeping your “A Team” on the field.
Have a safe and productive day!
Eric Gilbert, MSM-RMI, CWCC
Moore and Johnson Agency, An Assured Partners Company