Once your employees have gone through safety training, make sure that they use what they’ve learned to make their jobs safer. When workers know the safest way to perform their duties, you’ll have a healthier workplace with fewer accidents and injuries.
This four-step approach to ongoing job safety will pay dividends:
- Team up to solve problems and improve safety. One of the best ways to encourage employee participation in workplace safety is through the work of safety committees. You can also set up employee teams in every department to identify and solve safety problems specific to particular work areas and jobs. Have team members gather information, analyze possible causes of safety problems, develop and test solutions, and implement and monitor results. Being part of a safety team makes members feel that they share responsibility for workplace safety. This keeps your safety message alive and keeps employees engaged and learning even after they’ve completed the required training.
- Talk up safety every day. Use every opportunity to talk to your people about safety. Keep them up to date on new information that affects their safety. Provide ongoing feedback, praising safe performance, correcting unsafe behavior, and pointing out areas for improvement. Make sure that communication flows both ways. Encourage your employees to come to you with safety suggestions, problems, and questions. A great way to encourage two-way communication about safety is to implement and support an active suggestion system.
- Encourage employees to be hazard detectives — and reporters. Assign every worker the responsibility of looking for hazards in their work areas and throughout your facility. Set up an effective system for reporting safety and health problems, and respond promptly to correct hazards that employees identify. This is harder than it sounds because it means that management has to really listen when employees talk about safety problems and concerns. Accept the fact that because employees often know their jobs better than anyone else they’re in the best position to identify potential hazards that might otherwise be overlooked.
- Create a “want-to” safety culture. Finally, try to create a safety culture that prompts employees to do the safe thing not because they have to, but because they want to avoid injuries. Help your workers see the value in making safe decisions. Remind them of how many safety-related decisions they make every day — and how one bad decision is all it takes to get hurt.
For more information on creating, and maintaining, a comprehensive and effective workplace program, feel free to get in touch with our agency team.