How Employers Can Create a Culture of Safety!

Culture of Safety

In any workplace, no matter what industry you are in, the safety of your employees should be a top priority. Accidents in the workplace can have a significant negative impact on the business as a whole.

It can damage your reputation, cause unnecessary downtime, have an adverse effect on employee engagement and morale, and result in financial burdens for businesses.

How you care for your employees goes beyond basic levels of compliance and standard regulations. Employers need to take a proactive approach to safety.

Read on as we explore practical tips for how you can reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents and, in turn, keep spirits up, and improve employee retention as well as create a culture of safety in the workplace. 

Lead By Example 

If you are an employer, it’s important to lead by example. The way you act sets the tone and can shape the workplace culture. When leaders are committed to prioritizing their employees’ safety, it sends a clear message. 

Ways to lead by example include 

-Actively engage in safety protocols.

-Wear appropriate PPE at all times. 

-Follow the safety guidelines in the letter. 

Invest in Comprehensive Training for All Employees 

To help you avoid workplace accidents, all staff must have the knowledge and skills to do their jobs safely. To keep every up to date you should plan regular safety training sessions. They could cover industry-specific hazards, emergency procedures, proper use of equipment, and the importance of reporting potential risks. This information can be extremely valuable no matter what sector you work in.

You should also have an accident reporting system in place, so that all details are recorded at the time of the accident. On-going education also keeps safety at the forefront of people’s minds, helping them to remain vigilant for potential safety breaches and up-to-date on best practices. 

Provide Accessible Resources for All 

Alongside training, employees must know how and where to access the safety resources. In some cases, certain tools, equipment, and resources are needed for people to do their jobs safely; in these cases all equipment must be not only accessible but repaired or replaced as needed.

Insufficient resources can contribute to accidents, so proactive maintenance is key. Insufficient resources can contribute to accidents, so proactive maintenance is key.

Regularly Review and Update safety protocols.

Whatever industry you are in, times are likely changing fast. In the wise words of Ferris Bueller,

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So stop, look around, and ensure that all your safety protocols align with the latest industry best practices. Keeping safety guidelines current ensures that you are doing all you can to keep your employees safe.

Conduct Thorough Accident Investigations 

Unfortunately, accidents still happen despite keeping up to date with industry standards and taking preventive measures. If and when they do, it is of the utmost importance that you conduct accident investigations in the workplace.

Establish a systematic approach to accident investigations, ensuring they are conducted promptly and comprehensively. The goal is not to assign blame but to understand how an accident has happened and what you can do to avoid it happening again in the future. 

Encourage Open Communication

Whether it is during an investigation or not, communication channels must be open for employees to discuss safety. If an accident is being investigated, encourage employees to share their thoughts and perspectives on what went wrong. Often, employees are on the front lines and may be able to share alternative viewpoints on what could be done differently.

When an investigation is not taking place, employees should still feel comfortable coming forward with any concerns they might have. Consider implementing an anonymous reporting system to encourage honest feedback.

Award Safe Behavior 

If you are looking for another way to encourage safe behavior in the workplace to avoid accidents, try acknowledging and rewarding safe behavior. This reinforces the importance of a safety-first mindset. Recognition programs, awards, or even simple gestures of appreciation such as vouchers or a kind word can motivate employees to keep safety in mind. 

Establish a Committee 

Forming safety committees comprised of both management and employees fosters a collaborative approach to safety. A committee is a helpful idea as it empowers a group of people within the business to take responsibility for workplace safety.

These committees can conduct regular safety inspections, identify potential hazards, and contribute to the development of safety policies. Empowering people to play an active role in their safety makes accidents less likely. 

Culture of Safety article and permission to publish here provided by Carol Trehearn. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on January 26, 2024.

Cover photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash.