Following these principles of leadership will help you and your employees focus on job safety:
- Don’t walk by. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent any potentially unsafe acts and conditions they witness from turning into accidents.
- STOP! Encourage employees to stop working whenever they feel unsafe, no matter what reason they give.
- Focus on a safe working environment. If you expect your workers to work safely, make their workplace as safe as possible.
- Don’t blame the worker first. Unsafe ways of working, accidents, incidents, and ill health aren’t necessarily the worker’s fault. The problem often comes from less obvious causes, such as decisions by management.
- Use your workforce for ideas. Employees often have a more accurate idea than you or your managers about which safety and health practices will work, because they deal with these issues every day.
- Be patient. Don’t expect quick wins. Improvements will emerge over time, but only if you stick with them.
- Explain your decisions. Just telling workers that something is wrong or a safety risk isn’t enough. If they’re to act on the information you provide, they need to know why and how to avoid harm.
- Lead by example. Your behavior sends powerful signals. If you carry out your job in a safe way, your workers are more likely to do the same. If you don’t, they won’t imitate you.
- Focus on co-operation. Treat your subcontractors in the same way as employees by encouraging them to communicate with each other.
- Don’t neglect occupational health. If you look after the health, as well as the safety, of your workers today, you’re less likely to create problems for them or your business tomorrow.