When you talk to your employees about workplace safety do they roll their eyes? Unfortunately, many employees view safety training as something that only needs to be done in order to satisfy corporate or government regulations. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth and nothing is more important than making sure the workplace is safe and that every employee knows how to conduct themselves in the safest manner possible.
So how can you get your employees to buy into workplace safety? Below are some tried and true ways to make your employees realize the importance of workplace safety:
- Make sure that your employees are not passive participants in the process. Get them involved. Forming safety committees is a great way to accomplish this.
- Don’t let your safety presentations turn into safety lectures. Everyone hates sitting in a classroom being lectured to so make sure your presentations are interactive. Ask questions, let employees put in their two cents.
- If an employee brings up a safety issue, make sure the issue is fully investigated. Nothing will discourage employee input like making that employee feel like they are not taken seriously. Never EVER make an employee feel like there will be negative repercussions for speaking up. If employees feel like they have to be careful about what they say when it comes to safety, you can be sure that they won’t say much! Managers should be out in the field asking questions and getting to know their employees. When employees feel at ease with management they will be more willing to speak about safety issues.
- Be a role model. Let’s face it; employees take a lot of their cues from their managers or supervisors. If those in charge give the impression that safety training and other safety programs are unnecessary time away from work employees will feel the same way.
- Recognize safe behavior. Catch your employees in the act of being safe. Rewards are a great way to show your appreciation for employees who put safety first.
- Share successes and failures. Make sure employees see the impact of safe practices, as well as dangerous ones. Nothing hits home like a real-life example. If someone is hurt on the job, let your employees know exactly what happened and why.
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Nothing frustrates employees more than having to implement change solely for change’s sake. If you have a good program in place and it’s working don’t just make changes so it looks like you are doing something. If changes are required, then they need to be made, but don’t waste anyone’s time with needless busywork!