A well-designed and administered safety committee can help to reduce the burden of running a safety program and increase the return on investment. What type of benefits might be noted?
- Increased employee involvement;
- Increased productivity;
- Increased morale;
- Decreased injuries and illnesses;
- Decreased waste of materials; and
- Decreased cost of insurance coverage.
In reviewing the benefits, let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. Pennsylvania provides a 5% reduction in your workers’ compensation premium if you have an effective safety committee that meets their criteria. They have offered this savings recognizing that having an effective safety committee typically reduces workers’ compensation costs by much more than the 5%. If an employer has an effective committee, both the employer and the state win. It’s a good return on investment on the part of both parties.
Both material waste and injury and illness rates are reduced. Morale in increased through the improvement in both the ability to be involved in decision-making and improvement in the workplace conditions. Productivity is improved as people are working smarter and safer. The burden of running the safety program is reduced as the responsibility for safety is switched from a selected few to all employees served by the safety committee.
The safety committee can serve as the H.E.A.R.T. (Hazard Evaluation Accident Review Team) of your safety and health program. It can help to strengthen the body of the program by detecting conditions that could or have caused harm and pumping information to protect from that harm or repair harm that has occurred. Using the heart and body analogy, if one hazard that you have is chemical use and your program to address hazardous chemicals is weak, you need to strengthen this “muscle” by having the H.E.A.R.T. remove the weak parts of the program, rebuilding it.