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Industrial workplace safety: Going beyond the basics

Pennsylvania residents understand the employee risks inherent in the state's rich industrial landscape. The mining industry in particular is often fraught with hazards due to the challenging locations where these resources are found. While mining and other industries remain crucial to the economical vitality of Pennsylvania, workplace safety should never fall by the wayside in favor of increased production.

It is safe to say that most industries work to improve safety for its workforce, but many believe there is more to do. When seeking excellence in safety, it is important to look beyond the basic safety techniques such as regular training, equipment maintenance and other measures. Why is this so important? Because sometimes supervisors or managers become complacent, believing that their current measures are more than adequate.

To achieve true excellence in safety, a four-pronged approach is likely more effective.

Strategize: Enhance basic accident and injury prevention plans with a strategy designed to make compliance with safety programs a minimum standard rather than a simple goal.

Assess: After a safety strategy is in place it is a good time to engage in organizational assessments. These assessments can include testing worker knowledge, forming focus groups and identifying safety issues.

Coach: Working toward a goal of safety excellence requires performance coaching at every level of leadership. Combined with a safety training curriculum and regular follow-up training, coaching inspires improvement.

Engage: Engaging the workforce and including them in the safety strategy ensures all members of the staff--from leadership roles to laborers--are aligned on the same path to safety excellence.

Until industrial workers' accidents can be eliminated from the equation altogether, industry employees should work together to improve overall safety. When accidents do occur, you can turn to a workers' compensation attorney to learn how the law protects you.

Source: EHS Today, "The Four Core Components of Safety Excellence," Terry L. Mathis, accessed Nov. 05, 2015

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