You may feel like you have a safe workplace since you keep the area maintained and secured to prevent injuries. And you already have adequate insurance in case there is an accident. However, this is not enough to make your workplace a true safe area for your employees and customers.
To take safety to the next level, you need to create a culture of safety that permeates every level of your company. When safety becomes a habit and everybody knows the rules and what is expected of them then this is when safety actually becomes a reality. Otherwise it’s simply a matter of an accident waiting to happen.
In this article, we will go over what you need to know to create a culture of safety in your workplace.
Ability to report concerns
Your employees are on the front lines and are more exposed to any safety issues than anybody else. As such, they know where the problems lie and know what needs to be done about them.
The problem in some companies is that reporting of violations is sometimes risky for the employee. Whether it is because they don’t want to seem to be troublemakers, or they fear that their concerns will get ignored. Don’t be a company that stifles employees’ ability to report their safety concerns.
There should be an open door policy that actually encourages the employees to report any violations or potential issues as soon as they notice them. And thank them by actually addressing the concerns that they have so they can see that the company does take these reports seriously. When the employees see that you take safety seriously, then they will too.
Even if the reporting method is simply a drop box where they can put a card or note that gives them a clear way to communicate the issue then this will go a long way.
Not only would retaliating against an employee for reporting an illness or violation against the law, it is the wrong thing to do from an ethics perspective. If they feel they can’t call you, then they will instead call Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers Phoenix when they’ve been injured.
Athletes train so frequently that a lot of what they do becomes muscle memory. They don’t really even have to think much. They simply react.
This is how your employees should deal with safety when working or on the premises. They should be so well trained that they know exactly what to do when confronted with a potentially dangerous situation.
This takes frequent training so they know all of the protocols in just about every situation. When they are properly trained, they can often anticipate problems before they even happen.
This is also an opportunity to instill in them the sense of personal autonomy to react using their ability to problem solve. And it demonstrates the company’s seriousness when it comes to safety.
Every department should be involved. Even if it is a warehouse, you should train the accounting department on how to maintain a safe workplace, for example. It isn’t just the people working in the warehouse, it should be from top to bottom when it comes to training.
It isn’t just in dangerous areas where accidents happen so everybody needs to know what to do in case of an accident or to prevent one from happening to begin with.
Don’t make it about compliance
Of course, compliance is a very serious matter and the protocols should reflect the laws on the books. However, this is very much like teaching students to take a test rather than teaching them to think.
What you want is something called discretionary effort. What this means is that they are taking an extra effort to keep the workplace safe because they know it is the right thing to do. They aren’t going through the safety motions. They are actively seeking out any potential problems so they can be addressed before an accident actually happens.
It can be that they wear protective gear even when doing something that they might ordinarily go without, or that they will help other employees to complete a job safely even though it isn’t part of their job description.
This is when you cross over from compliant to actually taking on a culture of safety. When employees feel empowered and accountable then they will respond by helping to make a more secure and safe workplace.