Sustainable Operations Are Safe
One of the tenets of industrial sustainability is preserving the health and safety of employees and site visitors, as well as protecting members of surrounding communities: a sustainable enterprise does not injure or kill its workers or neighbors.
The safety focus typically starts with the work environment, building on compliance with OSHA, professional and industry regulations and standards with additional practices to address hazards specific to the plant, product, processes and location.
Industrial sustainability professionals will ensure that neighbors and employees are not subjected to dangerous or unhealthy conditions through accidents, exposure to harmful substances or atmospheres, or job requirements. They will establish and encourage communications and actions that lead to an open and effective safety culture.
Along with the myriad existing regulations, safety professionals will keep up with emerging standards, technologies and best practices in areas ranging from indoor air quality and arc flash prevention to personal protection equipment, ergonomics and machine safety systems.
By paying attention to problem areas and trends, fostering direct worker communication and involvement, quantifying and reporting results, you can foster a culture that drives to unprecedented reductions in reportable and lost-time incidents, cooperative peer-driven compliance, cost reductions and increases in productivity.
Many facilities already have demonstrated these benefits and continue to improve. To follow (or lead) them, safety managers need information, examples, resources, and the support they can gain by consistently connecting improved safety with lower costs, higher profits, greater job satisfaction and the benefits of being recognized as a responsible neighbor and supplier.