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    The Benefits of Forming a Workplace Safety Committee

    When you own or run a business, ensuring the safety of your workplace and employees is a top priority. Improving safety at your business is one way to help mitigate risk and provide a positive workplace environment for your employees. Forming a safety committee at your organization can help you reduce the likelihood of on-the-job accidents, injuries, and illnesses.

    When members of your team are actively involved in safety programs and culture, it creates a sense of personal investment and ownership in the safety and overall success of the company.

    Why form a workplace safety committee?

    Safety committees can serve many purposes depending on how they are utilized within each company. Some typical roles that a safety committee can take on include establishing communication between employees and management, increasing awareness of on-site safety at a business, identifying risks and planning solutions for potential hazards, performing routine safety inspections, and helping facilitate routine safety drills such as fire or severe weather drills.

    Workplace safety committees can also help companies lower their workers’ compensation insurance costs. Workers' compensation costs for injuries and illnesses amount to billions of dollars each year. Safety training will help to reduce these costs and minimize injury claims. A study conducted by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, found that organizations that participated in workplace safety programs saved approximately $355,000 in injury claims and compensation.

    Other benefits of forming a workplace safety committee include:

    • Creating a problem-solving body that is specifically dedicated to workplace safety and will survive changes in management

    • Providing supervisors and managers with a team of well-trained employees that they can rely on when safety issues occur

    • Getting more people to feel a sense of personal investment and ownership in the safety and health management of the company

    • Creating a workplace dynamic that may not have existed between safety committee members, opening up lines of communication and teamwork

    • Providing employees with a deeper education in workplace safety than they would have previously been exposed to, helping to build a culture of safety in the company

    Building the best safety committee for your company

    Effective safety committees should include team members from all company departments, including maintenance and front office staff. The committee’s functions should reflect the company’s unique aspects such as industry, size, number of employees, operating complexity, and site-specific considerations. If your company is very large or operationally intricate, you may want to consider forming multiple safety committees and placing them strategically throughout the company.

    Workplace safety is critical for the health of your employees and the bottom line of your business. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, companies with safety and health training saw improvements in their organization’s profitability.

    Make sure your business is properly insured with a comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance plan to provide your organization and your employees with the medical-expense coverage and lost wages coverage you need. Visit swbc.com/workers-compensation to learn more.

    Michael Hogan, CSP

    Michael Hogan is a Sr. Risk Control Consultant with SWBC Insurance Services. His long-tenured work histories with noted companies such as Hartford Insurance, Aon Risk Services, and Comprehensive Safety Resources, a safety consulting firm, has equipped him with the skills necessary to understand the risk management business. Learning from his experiences of working with clients throughout the U.S. has given him the capability to share effective methods that companies can use to continually improve their risk management program and positively affect the bottom line.

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