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Workplace safety rests in the hands of your employees: Here’s How to Empower Them

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports there were 29 mining fatalities, making it the sixth consecutive year that mining fatalities were below 30. Among those fatalities, five occurred in coal mines, a historic low. This is good news, of course.

A spotless safety record in the mining industry is no accident — pun intended. As an employer, the onus rests on you to cultivate and maintain a culture of safety at work. With the right policies and procedures, companies can expect to see favorable results in the form of fewer incidents and improved operational efficiency. A commitment to occupational safety means taking a comprehensive approach. Plus, you should allow for innovation as you develop and promote safety plans. Here are a few tips to consider as you work to change the culture from the inside out.

MSHA Equipment Image

Help your employees visualize safety

One of the main causes of injuries at work is when employees aren’t aware of the threat. Posters can help call attention to specific danger zones. For instance, employees who are not familiar with a particular machine or work area might find benefit in a visual cue. Just be sure that the graphics are eye catching and deliver the message in a memorable way, or you might miss the mark.

Leverage humor

While safety is no laughing matter, that doesn’t mean you can’t use levity to get your point across. Whether it’s employed in an oral presentation or on a poster, wit and puns can help ease tensions and help employees internalize the information.

Lean on the power of data

Some employees are more analytical and therefore facts and figures resonate more than anecdotes. New technologies, like Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) software, can help teams get a handle on strengths and weaknesses in their work. For instance, pie charts, trends charts and dashboards can present data in a way that’s easy to digest.

Don’t forget about training

Another piece of the puzzle is on-the-job education. Our MSHA Courses Online help miners and contractors identify and minimize exposure to hazards typically found at mines when proctored by a Competent Person for Part 46 and Certified MSHA Instructor for Part 48. Depending on the type of online training you require, course content may also include emergency procedures, first aid, miners’ rights and responsibilities, hazard communication, electrical safety, confined spaces and materials handling safety.

Remember, safety is everyone’s business — but it must happen by design. Be intentional and the rest will follow.

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