7 Tips - How to Improve Safety at Work?
Health and safety in the workplace is paramount, especially in industries such as gas and oil, construction, and transportation. Every employer knows that they have a legal responsibility towards their employees’ safety. But ensuring that rules and regulations are followed to protect your workers is sometimes easier said than done. That’s why creating a great safety culture is so important for your business. If you can get your workers on board and actively involved with health and safety it will not only enable you to meet your legal obligations effectively, it will also lower injury and fatality rates, improve employee wellbeing, and increase productivity. Here are 7 tips to improve safety at work.
1. Make Safety Imperative
To create a robust safety culture, safety cannot be seen as optional. Safety measures and practices should be placed at the heart of your business and new employees should be made aware of this from day one. Establishing that safety is of extreme importance and not just a box-ticking exercise is key for building a culture that nurtures itself. If your existing workers are on board then those coming into the company are far more likely to follow suit. Provide plenty of positive feedback for jobs and tasks carried out safely. Equally, if you have employees who are unwilling to put safety first, then they should be warned and, if necessary, removed.
2. Build a Great Team
Your people make your company and that applies to health and safety too. Having the right people in place is critical for improving and maintaining safety at work. If you put people who do not share your safety philosophy into positions where safety is key (every position), then this will have a domino effect on the entire culture of your business. It is essential that you hire people who are aligned with the safety measures you are trying to implement so that they actually embody them in their day to day conduct rather than just paying lip service. Hiring the right people is therefore essential for a good safety culture.
3. Train Employees Well
Training employees on health and safety is obviously not a new concept. However, the way this training is conducted has been evolving over the past few decades. While some accreditation still requires classroom attendance, many leading safety courses and certificates are now available online. This allows employees to carry out their training wherever they are and at a time that suits them. Making sure your workers receive the appropriate training for their roles and positions is crucial for encouraging them to work safely and to keep your company running as efficiently and accident-free as possible.
4. Track Safety Training
Having safety training programs in place is great but it is also something you need to monitor closely. Particularly in mid and large-size organizations, keeping track of your workers’ training can be a Herculean task. Fortunately, there are now many software options available to help you achieve this. A good system will allow you to keep track of your employees’ training records and upcoming expirations. It will also provide you with in-depth reports to help you stay ahead of the game. If you’re wondering how to improve safety at work, then making sure everyone’s training is up-to-date is a great place to start.
5. Reward Safe Work
One of the most effective ways to encourage people to put safety first is to reinforce positive behaviors when they do just that. Actively rewarding your employees for good safety conduct is much more impactful than punishing them when they get it wrong. This could be as simple as calling attention to a safe action in a positive way – for example, something as small as the correct use of a ladder – or it might be reward software that awards points for good safety behavior that can then be exchanged for rewards of the employee’s choosing.
6. Establish Best Practices
While your workers can make or break your safety culture, they are not mind readers. Establishing best safety practices that work both for your company and fulfill local regulations is absolutely critical. It is also important that these best practices are put in writing. This serves two main purposes. First, best practices in written form act as a guide for new recruits when it comes to the safety culture of your company. Second, they are a referral point for existing employees to come back to whenever they have a question about safety.
7. Inspect for Hazards
The absolute best way to handle a safety incident at work is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but regularly inspecting for hazards will help keep incidents to a minimum. Encouraging your workers to carry out daily field level hazard assessments is a huge step in the right direction. Make this an entrenched part of your safety culture so that your employees consider it an intrinsic element of their role rather than an annoying exercise in paperwork. A great safety culture is as much about attitude as it is about following rules and regulations.
Creating and maintaining a safe and secure workplace results in higher levels of job satisfaction, employee wellbeing, and productivity. This means that, legal requirements aside, instilling a great safety culture is non-negotiable if you want your business to flourish. Following the tips above to improve safety at work can help your business succeed. Safety should be imperative and for this to take hold, you need to have the right people in place. Good safety training is essential but it’s also equally important that you monitor that training so that no one falls behind. Establishing best practices and rewarding those who follow them will encourage your workers to get on board with your safety culture. And inspecting regularly for hazards will help keep incidents and accidents to a bare minimum. By putting safety first in everything you do, you can improve not just the safety but the efficiency and productivity of your business.