Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Injuries and Accidents

Your nonprofit organization should first prepare for accidents, then develop procedures for responding to accidents on construction/rehabilitation job sites.

Preparing for an Accident

Preparing for an accident requires that you have four things in place: planning, attitude, supplies, and communications.

Planning Ahead

You will never know in advance what accidents will occur or when, but you can plan ahead to know what the most likely risks are in a given situation to prepare for and, hopefully, avoid them. Having specific plans in place for various types of accidents and regularly training your employees to work within those plans is one of the most effective means of ensuring that accidents will be avoided when possible and handled appropriately when they do occur. Your nonprofit should assign a safety committee to regularly monitor and update your accident plans, recommend training for employees and volunteers, and walk through your work sites to check for potentially unsafe conditions.

Attitude of Safety

In addition to planning for accidents and responding to them, instilling an attitude of safety among your employees and volunteers reduces your risk of having accidents occur. Workplace safety training instructs staff members on best practices and helps avoid common mishaps. Your policies and procedures should also reflect that safety is a priority within your organization. If employees and volunteers are encouraged to cut corners to reduce costs or get a job done more quickly, the attitude of safety is undermined and an accident is more likely to occur. Having a safety committee in place that has the authority to make changes where unsafe conditions or practices are found shows that your nonprofit is dedicated to providing a safe environment.

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