Although the industrial workplace can be dangerous, the smartest companies make safety a top priority. Employers should consider holding yearly safety reviews, much like a standard annual review, at the start of each year. As it turns out, this approach pays off for both companies and employees.

Work-related injuries are costly for a company’s bottom line. It's estimated that three million workers a year are injured or become ill on the job, according to the U.S. Labor Department. An unsafe workplace can result in reduced productivity, OSHA fines and increased workers’ compensation insurance costs for companies. Worse yet, employees suffer. Too many on-the-job injuries can lead to a decline in morale and lost income for employees. That’s why companies have internal safety objectives and goals for worker incident rates. They require that their managers are constantly working to reduce injury rates and analyze opportunities for improvements in safety.

Your best bet is to put safety in the spotlight by holding an annual safety review as you start the new year. Here’s why:

Too often, employees don’t read or fully understand posted safety reports.

By law, companies have to keep track of workplace injuries and illness and post summaries in the workplace for employees to access. Too often, busy workers neglect to see or read published safety data. Other times, details about workplace incidents can be misleading or confusing to understand. By holding an annual safety review, a company ensures that employees fully see their ability to abide by safety rules.

You’ll give workers time to reflect on what they did well – or wrong.

At the annual review, show what caused success or failure in workplace safety. Frame this in a neutral way to stimulate discussion and challenge assumptions. Too often, employees feel pressure to increase productivity while being pushed to reduce injuries — a combination that can sometimes feel impossible. During your safety review, provide a critique on how they can improve, and let them know that they can get better through effort and practice. Make sure your employees don’t see failure as a sign of inadequacy but as an opportunity for improvement. Now is the time to nudge them to focus on safety during the upcoming year.

You’ll ensure that workers understood safety protocol.

Commonly, after employees report injuries, they are required to meet with specialists at the company and get extra training. But what about employees who haven’t been ill or injured? Do they understand the safety standards? You may want to consider a short quiz or activity to gauge your employees’ level of knowledge during the annual safety review meeting.

The bottom line is that you have much more to gain than to lose by holding a yearly safety view meeting. To learn more about compelling ideas to implement in the workplace, visit the Nesco Resource website.