Companies use a lot of different methods to staff their safety committees. One company believes its method of choosing committee members has helped it reduce incidents and injuries — and that has a positive impact on its insurance costs.
Contributed by Christopher Nguyen, Director of Risk Management, The Peninsula, New York, NY.
Our safety committee had representation from all the different departments in our company.
They were committed to being on the committee and to workplace safety overall.
But all the committee members were department managers.
They knew a lot about safety but weren’t necessarily involved in the day-to-day situations that we wanted to address to reduce injuries.
To get a sense of safety issues employees faced regularly, we wanted to make sure the right employees got onto the safety committee.
Key: Who chooses members
The best way to make sure employees’ safety concerns were addressed by our committee was to let them choose their own representatives.
As it turned out, employees made good choices for safety committee members. They chose co-workers who had influence within their departments.
Other employees bring concerns or ideas to them, and the representatives bring those to our safety committee.
To emphasize their importance, I have a brief chat with the members as I do my daily walk-through.
Bringing non-management employees chosen by their peers onto the safety committee has had a direct impact. The number of injuries has gone down, and those are numbers that I can take to our workers’ comp insurer to keep our rates in check.