Continuous Improvement Is Crucial for Safety Program Success

Work is demanding. In the high-risk industries we specialize in, that work can demand more than just an employee’s effort – it can oftentimes demand their bodies, as well. Back pain, collision injuries, falls, lung poisoning, chemical exposures, burns, bruises, and blemishes alike; employees place their bodies under tremendous tension with their lives at risk on a daily basis.

The realities of high-risk industries can be grim for on-the-ground employees – but they do not have to be. It is the responsibility of employers to take this burden of danger off of the employee’s shoulders, by preventing and mitigating any and all risks they may encounter using effective safety programs.

Far too often, however, employers will take a one-and-done approach to the implementation of these programs. Then, when metrics plateau and better safety results are demanded – the scramble for improvement begins, oftentimes to no avail. There is a far better way.

Continuous Improvement

Safety programs demand more than just set up, and employees deserve more. Simplified metrics like fatality and injury rates cannot be the only baseline for determining a safety program’s effectiveness. Even if a safety program successfully lowers injury rates, the benefits of continuous improvement procedures are far too large to be considered anything other than crucial.

A safety program that is continuously improving will seep its benefits throughout all departments of an organization. Meaning that your safety programs won’t just stop at injury rates and fatalities; it will quickly branch into the areas of productivity, morale, procedural improvements, comfort, communications, and more.

Here’s why:

Continuous Improvement Relies on Employees

Continuous improvement doesn’t just rely on injury and fatality rates to determine success. To continually improve a safety program, direct feedback from employees becomes vital. With this focused feedback, two incredibly beneficial avenues open:

One, this feedback directly improves safety processes by placing the power of improvement in the hands of employees and management simultaneously. Dangers and procedural flaws are noticed most effectively by on-the-ground employees – they are the ones encountering these risks and procedural roadblocks on a daily basis, not the employers. Giving them direct capabilities to suggest and make changes is a foundational necessity for the continual improvement of a successful safety program.

Secondly, this direct feedback opens the avenue of improving branching aspects of safety that are all linked to improvements in productivity. By utilizing this mindset for continuous improvement and extending the conversation to more humane aspects of an employee’s work-life – like comfort, engagement, and workplace morale – an organization will be poised to improve those aspects; and the rewards are palpable. 

For a real-world example of these rewards, let’s look at an example out of Wisconsin. A small manufacturing facility in Wisconsin began to increase the production of a new product. Unfortunately, this product required a decent amount of manual torque for assembly and the operator’s wrists began to feel the brunt of the labor. However, these operators were given direct lines of communication to leadership, expressed their complaints, and were actually listened to. As a result, a tool was developed to assist operators with manually threading components together, removing the strain on their wrists while simultaneously increasing output by 15%.

This is precisely why continuous improvement is crucial for the success of safety programs everywhere; employee safety is bolstered while improving the productivity and quality of life for workers, simultaneously.

That’s why we build self-sustaining feedback into every one of our safety programs, designed to continuously improve your procedures indefinitely. If you’re ready to begin seeing the far-reaching benefits of a successful safety program within your own organization today, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone at 630.759.9908 or by email at, today.