We spend a lot of time at work, and most of us are pretty proud of what we do. But in no situation should your job ever cost you your life. Safe job sites should be a priority for all employers; after all, the health and safety of your workers is your biggest responsibility.
Protecting your workers starts with a strong culture of safety at all levels of your company. When employees are involved in that process from the beginning, it gives them a sense of responsibility and pride that will not only lead to fewer accidents on the job, but lower turnover rates in the long-term.
Companies that are interested in improving their workplace safety culture can go about it in a number of different ways, so we thought we’d outline some foundational ways to get started today.
Here’s our shortlist:
- Make sure that your employees are included in all safety planning. Nobody will argue that workplace safety is critically important, but when your employees have a deeper understand of why that’s true, you’ll have more buy-in. Something we see too often is that companies have environmental, health and safety programs in place, but don’t put enough energy into the underlying employee motivations and behaviors. If you can identify and understand these mindsets, you can affect change more quickly.
Common Employee Pushbacks
- “I’ll get in trouble if I report an incident.”
This worry is far too common. Employees often underreport incidents because of fear of punishment. In order to combat this, work to create an environment that encourages reporting as well as other desired employee behavior.
- “If I report everything that might be problematic, we’ll lose productivity.”
Unless those in a leadership role at your company embrace safety as a real priority, employees are likely to automatically favor productivity.
- “Cultural shifts in the workplace takes time, nothing I do will really make a difference.”
In some scenarios, it helps to keep your expectations low. But the temptation to wait and see how things play out is a trap. Changing your perspective to a more positive one will not only resonate with your employees, but generate momentum and catalyze successful cultural transformations.
- Provide the required training to all of your employees, and (if possible, given COVID-related restrictions) encourage student-instructor interaction and hands-on training for situations that could occur in real life.
- Don’t forget about dangers that arise from distraction. Have a dialogue with your employees and find out what pulls their attention away, and how to combat those outside forces. Need a worst case scenario? A quick four-second scroll on a smartphone could easily lead to an arm crushed in a press.
- Have a professionally written safety plan that identifies hazards and what steps need to be taken in the event of an accident, as well as a focus as to what specific issues and aspects of safety companies like yours might need you to focus on.
- Consider hiring an outside EHS Safety Consultant from one of many reputable environmental, health and safety consulting companies. What is a safety consultant? OSHA compliant companies employ EHS consultants to inspect machinery, ensure proper operation, and present safety information to employees in a digestible way.
If reading this list made you realize that you might have a ways to go in terms of getting your safety culture up to standard, top safety consulting companies like Berg Compliance Solutions are here to help! You can also download OSHA’s Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs here.
Contact us today for information about training, site audits, safety manuals, or any other questions you might have regarding our safety consulting services – and with our new Guided Compliance package, our team of safety experts can be here for you, wherever you may be located.