3 Ways To Improve Safety Culture
May 4, 2021
By: Nicole Gentz, Brokerage Safety Advocate, Cottingham & Butler
When we think about safety people often immediately jump to regulatory compliance but what most don’t understand is that regulatory compliance is not the end goal. Regulatory compliance is in place to require businesses to have absolute minimum protocols in place for worker protection.
So… how do we have an effective safety program? Success happens when we shift our focus from regulatory compliance to improving overall safety culture. See below for a few tips and refreshers on how to implement these ideas:
ENGAGE YOUR FRONT LINE WORKERS
- Front line workers know what hazards exist every day, what safety procedures employees are bypassing, and what processes could be more effective.
- They often have good ideas but feel they aren’t heard or no one cares – give them a voice and let them know you want to hear their ideas.
- When front line employees construct solutions, they’re likely to help others get onboard.
UPPER MANAGEMENT ENGAGEMENT
- Upper management should show an active participation in the safety trainings. It is critical for employees to understand your view on safety because if it’s important to upper management, employees are more likely to take it seriously.
- Must abide by all rules – it doesn’t matter if you are the CEO or if you are an entry-level position, safety applies to everyone and accountability must be equivalent for ALL employees.
- If you’re in upper management, communicate to others that you want to be held to the same standards. If an employee sees something you’re doing wrong onsite let them know that you want them to correct you. This speaks volumes to your employees about your commitment.
- Why is safety important to the organization? It’s critical to appeal to humanity because safety is not about meeting regulatory requirements, it is to make sure that each of our employees return home safely each work day.
- Inform your employees how their everyday duties affect the company as a whole – it shows them that their daily engagement matters and they do play a critical role in the company.
- Set goals and have discussions company-wide on progress and changes. Consistency in conversation is key but do remember wording is critical because we don’t want these goals to prohibit our employees from reporting injuries!
Find out what motivates your employees and involve rewards in the crusade to an engaging and enjoyable atmosphere. Safety doesn’t have to be a bore and as we’ve covered, it most definitely is not about meeting regulatory compliance. For more ideas on how your team can enhance your current safety culture, reach out to your Cottingham & Butler representative today. Remember: safety is a journey, not a destination.