Workplace safety is important for everyone. Implementing an effective health and safety program might be one of the best decisions you make for your employees and your bottom line. Introducing an effective program often improves your company’s productivity and reduces your absentee rate. Keeping a safe work environment also reduces your insurance claims and may ultimately reduce your insurance premiums. In the long run, a safe work environment reduces your overall cost and disruption to your business.
What Does a Culture of Safety Look Like?
Ultimately, it’s the company’s responsibility to engage a culture of safety to reduce the risk of serious injury or death that changes the lives of family, friends, communities, and co-workers forever. The cost of injury prevention is far less than the cost of an injury and ultimately, workers thrive, and businesses retain their best employees. The National Safety Council reports that every seven seconds an employee is injured on the job – building a culture of safety may help reduce your odds.
Practice what you preach
It won’t matter how much training you offer your staff or incentives you use to encourage the safety promotion, if you don’t practice safety protocol with your employees, it’ll be much like the parents who tell the child what to do but turns around and does the opposite. No one listens! The boss, manager, and supervisors must lead from the front line to enforce safety and follow them to the letter. As employees see management set a strong example, it increases their motivation.
Supervisors, managers, owners and human resource managers are all responsible for providing the training, modeling the training and ensuring the staff received the training. Health and safety training should not only include how to prevent an injury but also first aid procedures on what to do should an injury occur. Practicing emergency evacuation plans are also important.
Most employees will tell you that they may take a job for the paycheck, but they stay because they feel as if they’re performing an important job and are being rewarded for it. Using rewards is an easy way to encourage safety in the workplace. However, those rewards do not always have to be tangible. When the manager and supervisor see an employee using good workplace safety protocols, a simple “Great job!” goes a long way towards repeating that behavior. When the department meets health and safety goals, bringing in coffee or breakfast can go a long way towards keeping employees engaged in the process and health and safety in front of mind.
There is a reason many businesses place signs over bathroom sinks, reminding employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom. Labels and signs are cheap and effective ways of reminding employees of important information.
Practice from day one
Safety in the workplace begins from the first day of employment and only ends when the employee walks out the door for the last time. Hiring qualified people who pay attention to detail ensures you are building a culture of safety within the workplace.
Include Employees in Your Plans to Build a Culture of Safety
As you consider these strategies to building a safe workplace environment for your employees, think about how you might convey the importance of safety. Do you talk about it monthly, quarterly or annually? When you are striving to create a culture of safety in the workplace, it means keeping the root cause of serious injuries top-of-mind and regularly surveying the area for potential safety hazards. Engage your employees in this practice as these are the people on the front line who know and understand the different safety hotspots.
Strong employees are an asset to your business, so when you’re in need of adding positions or filling vacant ones, call our professional recruiters who can help you find the right employee to grow your business.