Regardless of what kind of business you have, safety in the workplace is something that has to be an integral part of it. But it does not matter how much you value safety and how much you invest in it if your employees fail to realize the importance of the matter. With the right methods, however, you can easily encourage safety in the workplace and create an environment where everyone can thrive.
The right training
It all begins with the right kind of training that each and every one of your employees should undergo as soon as they start working for you. In certain working environments, this is even more essential – in warehouse and manufacturing environments, not to mention the construction industry, thousands of deadly accidents occur every year. Thus, training is vital even for employees with plenty of experience.
Your employees should also be encouraged to report any health and safety concerns so as to prevent any bigger consequences.
Clear rules and clear procedures
Besides training, your business needs clearly defined rules. Anyone who fails to respect these rules should receive punishment. This should apply to smaller, more trivial-seeming matters too if you want to avoid a bigger catastrophe. Doing this will make sure the rest of your employees are deterred from breaking the rules.
While discipline might not motivate your employees per se, it is a necessary part of safety.
Engaging your employees in the process
It is quite probable that you already have carefully devised safety plans and procedures. However, they, of course, need to be reassessed and updated every year – some government requirements might have changed, or your office layout might have been modified.
A good way to encourage safety in the workplace is by involving your employees in the creation (or updating) of these plans. Ask for their feedback: what do they think needs improvement? Letting them be a part of the process will make them more motivated to follow safety procedures, and it can even help you find the weak points of your plan.
The right equipment
If your employees see that you are willing to invest in their safety and the safety of the workplace premises, they will not only appreciate it but they will be encouraged to follow safety rules as well. This means that you simply must not skimp on quality safety equipment.
Provide all the necessary personal protective equipment. Barriers and temporary fencing can be easily found at companies like Fortress Fencing. So make sure to take advantage of them if your work area needs them. All the tools and machines in use should be up-to-date. These things are not only to follow the regulations, but they are also necessary for your employees to be able to follow the safety procedures.
Educating your employees should not be considered a “punishment”. Holding seminars, practice sessions or further training programs from time to time is a viable option for keeping your employees’ memory fresh of the safety rules and procedures. If organized in a friendly manner, these can also strengthen the team spirit and the morale of your employees. Think about organizing fun activities such as quizzes about various aspects of safety in the workplace.
While giving out “rewards” in the literal sense is not the greatest approach to maintaining office safety, you should show your appreciation when your employees are abiding by the rules. Simply saying thanks can go a long way, and occasional incentives are fine too, as long as they are not on the basis of having the least number of safety infringements – which, on the other hand, can lead to unreported injuries and other problems.
So it’s better to reward positive behavior right there and then than the lack of negative behavior which can undermine the integrity of your business.
And finally, never forget that you are the walking example in your business, so always strive to be a good role model. Just because you’re the boss does not mean you can skip wearing a safety helmet where it is prescribed. Besides, always respond to any kind of problem promptly and show your concern towards your employees.
All this will ensure everyone is safe and sound and that they know what to do in any kind of emergency.