by Leila Dorari
We can all agree that a safer workplace is something that everyone should strive towards. Reducing risks of potential accidents and lowering worker’s compensation claims is every employer’s responsibility and legal obligation. Introducing safety procedures will establish your expectations for your employees. It usually means that the safety programs you put in place will require people to change their old habits. Getting employees to follow these rules can prove to be a difficult task. People can be set in their own ways and will consider it a hassle to change them. Here are some tips to help you motivate your workforce to embrace a safety-conscious behavior.
Workplace safety motivation tip #1: Consistent training
The more an environment is manufacturing oriented, the more heavy machinery and large equipment can be found. In extension, it means more potential accidents that can lead to serious injuries or perhaps even death. That is why providing a proper training to your employees is of utmost importance and one of the first things to do. Safety procedures should be made clear, thorough and easily accessible through on-site guidelines and training as well. Experience or time spent in a workplace should not be an excuse for avoiding these important activities. Training should also be customized for different divisions within the organization.
Some people need to learn how to safely operate a large forklift, and someone needs to learn how to change a printer toner. But all need to know how to deal with an electrical fire. If you are having trouble achieving the desired results, try changing the delivery or the program itself. A very useful tip is to explain the reasoning behind these procedures. People are far more likely to accept a proposition if they truly understand why it serves to their benefit. Make safety feel closer to home.
Workplace safety motivation tip #2: Motivation and incentive
Your employees will react positively to incentives for using safety procedures properly. One of the first methods can be a regular report on the decreasing number of injuries and accidents. This report will act as a form of reward. But do not focus solely on that method. If used incorrectly it will have the opposite effect and make your employees reluctant to report issues. Ultimately, it will create an unsafe work environment. Instead, keep an eye out for people using proper safety methods and inform the superiors. Employees who consistently behave with safety in mind should be given incentives as a form of motivation. These incentives include, but are not limited to: time off, monetary or non-monetary rewards, or rewards given in front of colleagues. The feeling of appreciation can go a long way.
Workplace safety motivation tip #3: Tangible support
Another, equally important point is to back up all this talk of training and motivation with the necessary equipment. Your employees can be the most safety-conscious people in the world, but it is all for not if the floor has holes in it. Depending on the country we find ourselves in, there are plenty of mandatory workplace safety regulations. Always try to go above and beyond these safety laws, in ways that are unique to your company. We are talking about helmets, railings, fire-suppressants, harnesses, first aid kits, machine specific panic protocols, you name it. Construction, notoriously being one of the most hazardous environments, will require temporary setups. There are temporary fence panels for sale that will cordon off the working area. This will not only provide safety employees but will also prevent anyone from wandering into a potential danger zone. Such investments will be noticed by everyone, and will also be greatly appreciated. A culture of safety must be backed up with a proper infrastructure. Otherwise, it will remain nothing more than a word on a piece of paper.
Workplace safety is a very serious business. If we take a step back we can take a look at the bigger picture. The main reasons for all of this are the employee’s health and well-being. But it also pays for them to have an easy mind when coming to work. If people feel safe in their environment they will perform better. For your safety programs to bear fruit, employees must be motivated, committed and actively engaged in it. By following these rules, you will ensure the continuation of a safety-oriented culture.
Motivate and empower your workforce to take ownership of their safety. And always encourage and consider the feedback they provide. After all, your employees are the brick and mortar of the company.
Does your workplace make safety a priority? Tell us what they do to ensure your safety in the comments below!