Keeping everyone on the job as safe as possible is the right thing to do, speaking just from a basic human standpoint. After all, any accident could literally ruin (or end) someone’s life. But even from a strict amoral accounting calculus, encouraging safety remains a key priority.
Bottom line: It’s more than just a good moral decision. It’s good for business.
A strong safety record means fewer lost days of work, less money spent on replacing damaged equipment, less expenses for legal fees and workers’ comp, and a happier, more productive workforce.
The best way to keep everyone safe is to ensure everyone’s on the same page. Everyone in the company, from CEO to the lowliest intern, should have the same safety priorities in mind and follow the same safety protocols.
This isn’t always easy, though. It requires coordination and communication, as well as a dedication to a topic that can sometimes feel like a distraction (if not an outright hurdle) to maximizing production.
With that in mind, here are four steps you can take to make sure everyone stays on the same page when it comes to safety:
Stress Safety During Onboarding
The typical training program goes something like this: long sessions on company policies and work procedures, in-depth information on employee policies and corporate structure. Then, as the new recruits are on their way out, hand them a packet of info on safety practices to read on their own.
If you send the message early on that safety represents an afterthought, your employees will internalize the lesson. They will always see it that way. Plus, it will be hard to fix the attitude later.
Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, establish safety as a priority right from the start and build good long-term habits.
Make Ongoing Training a Top Priority
Technology improves over time and safety priorities change. Don’t leave current employees out of updated procedures. Take time for continuing education.
Also, habits get sloppy as time passes. A regime of ongoing education can provide reminders and points of emphasis for existing rules. Schedule ongoing training seminars with all current employees to make sure they remain up to date with best practices. This will keep them informed, reinforce their commitment to safety and reaffirm that it remains a core concern for the company.
Don’t Give Mixed Messages
Companies commonly think of safety info as a legal dodge. A supervisor reads out a policy and everyone signs a sheet saying they heard the procedures. Then if the employee ignores the procedure and gets hurt, the company can pull out the sheet and say, “See, we told them.”
But what if the company sets production quotas workers can’t achieve if they follow all the safety precautions? This puts the employee in an impossible situation: miss output targets or stay safe.
Build safety into your production expectations. Show workers you care about protecting them, rather than just protecting yourself.
Use Safety Ambassadors
It sounds like a job your eight year old gets helping the kindergartners find their buses in the afternoon. But it’s actually a growing trend in corporate management.
The idea is to have dedicated personnel oversee and coordinate safety functions. This improves safety outcomes by making sure it is someone’s (or many someone’s) full-time job. Also, it shows employees you are serious about safety, because it represents a tangible ongoing resource commitment to preventing incidents.
It’s easy to keep workers on the same page when you have good workers to start with. An engaged workforce responds to training and retains the important information you want to impart.
How do you get those high-level employees? Partnering with a top-flight recruiting firm allows you to streamline the process. Working with DHR can help boost your safety focus. Contact them today to find out how.