Encouraging Safety Culture Within the Workplace
If you hold a safety position within your company or are responsible for the safety of your employees, you know that while it may not be hard to set rules and regulations around safety in place, there is often a challenge that comes with making those rules more than stagnant mandates that sit on paper as liability protection. You know that workplace safety is most effective when it becomes a company ideal that is thought about and practiced regularly throughout each and every department. This is not something that can happen overnight, but it is something that you should be actively working toward. This blog suggests some of the action items that you can take in order to achieve the kind of safety culture that should be present within every workplace.
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It is easy for employees to write off workplace safety when it isn’t kept top of mind. This is why workplace safety education shouldn’t be a one-and-done type thing. Safety education should be held regularly. Education sessions should be separated into smaller groups by job tasks or departments so that the education can be specific with real life scenarios centered around risks involved with the type of work that they do along with solutions that will allow them to proactively mitigate these risks. Any organizational safety rules should be reviewed and explained. If the employee is able to understand why a rule is set in place and the danger that the rule helps to protect them from, they are more likely to remember the regulation and follow through it. By making this a regular occurrence, workplace safety will feel like a more present and normal part of the employee’s work routine.
It should come as no surprise that your employees will become more involved in the world of workplace safety if there is a perceived added value or benefit for them. You may be aware of the strict guidelines that OSHA has in place revolving around safety incentive programs. These regulations are important, because when done wrong, safety incentives can actually harm workplace safety measures by encouraging underreporting. This is why we recommend that any safety incentives that you set in place be based on actions or efforts rather than safety reporting results. You can learn guidelines and suggestions for creating code complying safety incentives in the guide mentioned above: “OSHA Guideline-Complying Safety Incentive Programs.”
Finally, achieving buy-in from those in leadership is essential to encouraging a culture of safety throughout the workplace. If you can get those in a position of power to understand the importance of safety and actively think about and practice safety measures, their subordinates are much more likely to follow by example. Appeal to those in leadership positions by sharing how workplace safety goals align with some of their own. For instance, saving money is likely a company-wide goal. Get with leadership and explain how safety initiatives can lower costs, such as those involved with workers comp claims. Another common goal we see among those in leadership positions is employee engagement. Explain how a safety incentive program or safety education can help achieve this goal. The fact of the matter is that it isn’t hard to make these connections with leadership because in most instances, safety measures can and do directly positively affect other important business goals.
These are some of the many ways that you can begin to foster a culture of safety in your work environment. The most important thing to remember is that workplace safety must be a constant that is regularly visited and thought-about by all members of the company. Get employees to recognize its importance! See more about how SoloProtect encourages workplace safety at www.soloprotect.com/us.