This brand is widely recognized as having established the benchmark in regards to restaurant cleanliness, food quality, and friendly service. Can the same be said when discussing safety? Some Owner Operators have consistently low numbers of employee injuries each year, while other Owner Operators are less consistent. Safety programs are a part of the puzzle in reducing injuries, but ensuring that managers are held accountable for safety performance is a key factor in ensuring a safe workplace. Supervisors are motivated by what gets measured. What gets measured is what gets accomplished. Measuring for safety performance is no different than measuring for production, schedule, quality, and other operational results. Areas that can easily be measured include:
- Store Inspections – Independent inspections may be performed to check on critical safety items, including the condition of the floors, stacking of heavy objects, trip hazards, availability and use of required personal protective equipment, etc. Inspection forms may be downloaded from this website at www.profitfromsafety.com/forms
- Training Documentation – Have all employees received proper orientation? Have existing employees received updated safety training? Has the training been documented with records kept?
- Accident Investigation – Have all accidents been properly investigated? Were root causes identified, and corrective actions taken?
- Spot Checks – Are all employees wearing proper, approved slip resistant shoes? Are they using the right equipment for the task? Are spills cleaned up in a timely manner? Are managers and supervisors enforcing safety rules?
- Verbal Quizzing – Documentation of training is important, but real knowledge is the key. Stop and spot check employees to verify their knowledge. Ask them to explain safe operating procedures on a variety of topics where they have received training (lifting procedures, wet floor sign procedures, heavy storage items procedures, and so on)
Although many of these items may be directed at the employees, the performance of the employee is a reflection on his or her manager. If the manager is held accountable for the employee’s performance, that manager will work to improve the performance of that employee.
The items being measured, plus the standards for the measurement must be clearly communicated to managers. This should include communications regarding the safety goals. For example, telling the managers in the upcoming week that employees will be asked what the topic of the safety meeting was, or the proper way to respond to an irate customer, will motivate the manager to ensure that all employees are familiar with a particular subject. In other situations, like floor cleanliness, it is important to ensure that the floor is clean at all times, opposed to just prior to an inspection. It is important to remember to communicate the goals of the program, the measurement criteria, and the desired results.
With any of the steps listed above, performance must be measured to ensure an effective accountability program. Effective performance measurements must be quantifiable, easily understood, practical and reflect the desired performance. The goal is to improve performance, eliminate unsafe physical conditions, and prevent employee injuries. Whichever way you decide to measure staff on accomplishing activities and goals, documentation is necessary in the effectiveness of this program.