515-223-5119 info@ineda.com

[Author: Will Rogers, 07.2016 | Keywords: Safety]

It’s time to ask yourself the following about your dealership: “Are we being proactive about safety? Are we taking the safety of our employees seriously and making it part of our culture?”

Recently, I had the opportunity to tour the new Goodwill Industries Headquarters located by the Association office. I was impressed to see that they not only take safety seriously, but champion it as well. As a company that works with hundreds of employees and job trainees with special needs, Goodwill understands that it is critical to their success that each employee understands the importance of safety.

As we toured Goodwill, I noticed one of the main work areas displayed a digital safety scoreboard which showed how many days had passed since an accident was last reported. The sign was clearly visible to nearly everyone in the room and you could tell that there was a lot of pride in the total number of days they had reached. Goodwill successfully made safety a part of their culture.

Reflecting on the success of Goodwill, I have to ask, “Does the culture of your company champion safety or does it just pay lip service to it?” Here are some items to consider regarding safety in your business:

  • Have a designated safety manager in your company who is required to know what OSHA requires of your business to maintain a safe workplace.
  • Develop a cellphone use and texting policy while operating vehicles or equipment.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) both in and outside the workplace, including high visibility clothing, hearing protection, gloves, eye and face protection, heat and fire resistant clothing, back support belts, shoes and foot protection.
  • Stay current on forklift safety training and certification.
  • Make sure fire suppression systems, including sprinklers, oil waste and rag containers, fire extinguishers, alarms and emergency exit signs are operating properly.
  • Have first aid equipment on hand, including an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), emergency eye wash system and first aid kit. Participate in CPR training as well.

Taking a proactive approach toward safety might seem a bit overwhelming at first. Rather than doing it all at the same time, I encourage you to take it step by step.

First, call your insurance provider and ask to speak with someone from their risk management team. Many will have resources to help assess your needs and develop a plan to improve safety at your dealership.

Next, identify an employee in your dealership to serve as safety officer. Don’t just give them a title, but grant them the authority to make a difference.

Lastly, work with consultants and professionals who can help determine your needs and supply you with the tools you need to make safety a priority at your business.

The Association has additional recommendations and resources for improving safety in the workplace. For information regarding workplace safety call 800.622.0016 or email willr@ineda.com.

About the Author

Will Rogers

For more than nine years, Will has advocated for our members on both the state and national legislative fronts and has led I-NEDA’s educational efforts. In his free time, Will enjoys “dabbling” in politics, gardening, spending time with his wife and daughter, and managing his ever-growing collections (U.S. postage stamps, beer cans, comic books…).