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The idea of a workplace safety culture gets spoken about often these days, and for a good reason. Without a strong workplace safety culture, the EHS management process is an uphill battle. This article explains some powerful, practical work safety tips that can help get more employees involved in your workplace safety culture.
Here are seven work safety tips your organization can begin implementing today:
The first thing many companies do following a workplace accident is looking for someone to blame. Unfortunately, approaching safety in this way creates a culture of fear and avoidance where employees view safety as something negative that could get them in trouble or lose their job.
Instead, approach accidents and injuries as learning opportunities. As a chance to eliminate recurrence and create a safer work environment for everyone.
Many members of leadership spend hours speaking about the importance of safety. However, the actions of these same leaders can be quite different. For example, if their manager talks about the importance of safety, but then cuts corners and takes unnecessary risks, employees will do the same.
Identifying hazards is only the first step towards improving workplace safety; companies must also take action to eliminate those risks. A Corrective And Preventive Action (CAPA) program assigns who is responsible for addressing hazards, creating accountability and a chance to get staff more involved in the EHS process.
In addition, because the CAPA process also serves as a record of hazards, it makes it easier to communicate improvements to workplace safety with employees and that their efforts have not been in vain. EHS software with robust CAPA features is one of the best ways to manage this sometimes complicated yet crucial step toward boosting employee involvement in workplace safety.
Many companies ask a lot of their employees regarding safety and compliance. However, these same employers may not provide the resources and safety equipment necessary for their employees, creating barriers to compliance.
For example, if a company creates rules about how an employee acts and the type of safety equipment they use when addressing a specific hazard, they must first provide the necessary training and equipment. If they don’t, they cannot be surprised when employees do not comply.
Some organizations, especially those with a safety culture that needs work, believe that workplace injury prevention and regulatory compliance fall solely on the shoulders of safety professionals. However, for EHS management programs to be effective, they require every staff member’s focus, participation, and compliance.
Therefore, an employee’s safety responsibilities need to be clearly defined. If they aren’t, it creates the possibility of people deciding not to participate in safety efforts because they don’t think it’s their responsibility.
Toolbox talks are quick 5 to 10-minute group conversations about safety and health hazards and are a valuable way to start the work day with safety in mind. Making these meetings collaborative and encouraging participation empowers staff and makes them feel like active members of the safety process.
Asking for suggestions and encouraging people to speak up about hazards during toolbox talks isn’t enough; your company needs to act. Failure to do so is a quick way to discourage any future safety contribution; after all, why would they waste their time if their recommendations fall on deaf ears?
However, if you show that the company is listening and truly takes suggestions into account, it can be a powerful way to boost employee participation. It creates ownership of safety for workers and demonstrates that companies care about their well-being and value their point of view.
Making safety observations and audits a part of each employee’s responsibility gets more people involved in actively searching for hazards. To avoid poor data, creating an award system for the best safety catch each month is an additional incentive for employees to look for high-quality finds and discourage low-quality “pencil whipping.”
Ultimately, the more eyes and ears you have looking for hazards, your workplace will become safer. Moving towards the broader use of safety observations, audits, and inspections is a great way to spread safety awareness.
Auditing provides companies with valuable data they can use to identify hazard trends and make predictive choices about where the next accident might happen. Unfortunately, many companies cannot take full advantage of auditing because they haven’t digitized the process and leveraged the capabilities of EHS management software.
The companies with the best safety records often have the most robust safety cultures, but building that culture is challenging. Thankfully, if you implement the work safety tips above, your organization will be on its way to building a strong culture.
Boosting employee participation with corrective actions, audits, observations, inspections, and other powerful tools within EHS software is a significant step towards improving safety. EHS software from ProcessMAP helps companies digitize, standardize, and analyze safety data across their entire organization. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how ProcessMAP can help move your organization’s safety, and health program from reactive to proactive and create a safer, more compliant workplace.