Plenty of people understand the importance of worksite safety – but has it become an integral part of your company’s culture? Work-related accidents and illnesses shouldn’t just be pertinent issues after the incidents have occurred. Instead, their awareness and avoidance should be on everyone’s minds throughout every workday.
Creating a more safety-oriented culture is often easier said than done, however. Policies and procedures must be altered, workflows have to change, and employees may need to adopt new attitudes regarding the relationship between safety and productivity. To make the job easier, follow these tips to integrate safety into your company culture.
If you want your employees to adopt new safety policies, you’ll need to lead the way. Actively demonstrate your commitment to safety by providing guidance and educational tools, and set expectations, roles and responsibilities for everyone involved.
Furthermore, provide the vision for your safety overhaul. To effect significant changes in a culture, you need to inspire people with your ideas of what those changes will look like! How will individuals’ day-to-day workflows change in response to an increased focus on safety? What new roles and responsibilities will workers have to accept? Most importantly, how will these changes benefit everyone involved? These are the questions you and your employees should be able to answer.
Active Employee Participation
You may have your own responsibilities squared away, but how will you involve your employees? Even with a crystal-clear vision, you won’t create a more safety-minded culture without actively including the people it will affect.
Begin by delegating certain responsibilities to workers in every department. You’re the safety manager, but other people can become liaisons for the workers they know best, gathering information about their peers’ most pressing safety concerns. Delegation not only makes your job easier; it allows everyone’s voice to be heard.
Toolbox talks are another great way to encourage participation and involve as many employees as possible. Brief and informal, these talks can be held weekly or even daily to give workers a chance to voice their biggest concerns. Just a few minutes at the start of each workday can have a major impact when it comes to keeping safety on everyone’s minds.
It’s not enough to implement equipment checks, safety training sessions and regular meetings. To make people more mindful of their safety at all times, new policies and procedures must be carried out during daily tasks. For instance, you might ask workers to comment or report on conditions throughout the day, or to perform safety checks at stopping points during their shifts. When safety becomes a regular part of the workday, it becomes a major part of the culture.
With all the goings-on at any company, it’s easy to let safety policies get stale. Those policies have to be relevant to workers’ current needs, however, so regular reviews and updates are in order. Addressing new hazards and discarding outdated or inefficient policies won’t just lead to a better safety program on paper. It will help create a more safety-minded culture by showing employees you and other safety personnel have their best interests in mind.
Want more tips on making your job as a safety manager more efficient? Download our guide, 9 Ways to Make Your Job As A Safety Manager Easier.