DID YOU KNOW when employees are confused or overwhelmed with information they will shut down? For effective safety management, sometimes LESS is MORE! Here’s 5 Simple Steps to make Workplace Safety simple, easy and even fun so employees will want to make safety a priority!
1. Identify and understand your credible risk. In general 20% of what you do gives rise to 80% of your credible risk. i.e. work at heights, powered mobile equipment etc. Make this a priority first!
2. Set clear standards in writing for high risk activities for how the work should be done; AKA Safe Work Procedures. Make sure to involve workers in the process as they know the work best and to get their buy in.
3. Train workers in the standards in a way that connects their head to their heart. First comes WHY and then WHAT and HOW. Everyone’s tuned into their own radio station… WIIFM (what’s in it for ME) and your workers are no different! Make workplace safety about them; their family and their future. Here’s an example: “The reason why we’re reviewing and re implementing our lockout procedures today is that we don’t want to ever have to call your family and tell them you’ve been in a horrible workplace incident, that you’re at the hospital and I’m just praying you’ll be ok. Not doing it! Further more, we’re going to make sure you don’t do that to yourself. Therefore….let’s review and update our lockout procedures to make sure you keep all your body parts!”
4. Enforce the standards with tough love. Not enforcing your safety standards sends mixed messages and makes it harder on everyone, not to mention compromises your past efforts and your due diligence defence. Enforcement is not about being the bad guy, it’s about caring enough to hold employees accountable to a standard that ensures they’ll go home safe at the end of the day. It’s about holding stewardship for employees (who are fallible just like us) and saving them from themselves. If you are a supervisor or manager, after the bad thing happens, you’ll wish that you didn’t listen to the stories you told yourself for NOT enforcing safe work. (“My workers will get mad and quit, I don’t have time to deal with this today etc.”)
5. Consider putting workplace safety where your employees love to be…on their Smart Phones! Not only does it eliminate paper and make safety a little more fun, but they’ll know that you know if they’ve actually done it or not. In real time no less! Most important of all, it supports your Safety Management System success by giving employees 24/7 access your workplace safety standards and provides the support to hold them accountable. Purchase the right system and management can set mandatory fields so that workers will never miss an important step when completing a work procedure, inspection or hazard assessment etc