9 Key Steps To Drastically Improve Workplace Safety

This has everything to do with your employee engagement strategy! Understandably you may be asking yourself, “how?” We know this rule may not be as obvious as others, but it’s certainly one of the most important. Workplace Health & Safety are not just moral issues, but financial too. The significant costs associated with unsafe work behaviours may come as a great surprise to many.

A 2013 Gallup Study found that, looking at company’s level of employee engagement, the top 25% differed significantly to the bottom 25%:

48% fewer accidents

21% higher productivity

22% higher profitability

41% higher quality

37% less absenteeism

These figures make it clear – employee engagement has a massive impact on workplace safety!

Here we explain how.

An engaged workforce is more likely to take an active interest in the well-being of their organisation. They will want to increase profitability and productivity because they see that their contributions are being appreciated. Employees will not only work more purposefully and efficiently, but will be proactive in preventing on-the-job accidents.

An engaged employee is someone who has fully invested in both their work and the company’s success. This means they will put more effort in across the board; go out of their way to ensure things are done right; and actively offer their opinions, suggestions and feedback. Unfortunately, this doesn’t describe every employee.  Workers can become disengaged through lack of appreciation or trust from the organisation. This is damaging to progress, these individuals can often fail to report minor injuries, hazards or near misses. They become disinterested in safety briefings and show a lack of respect for safety in general — often breaking rules and taking advantage of shortcuts.

So, just how can your organisation begin the process of engaging and re-engaging your workforce? We have outlined 9 key steps to create a safer working environment through active engagement.

  1. Involve your employees – call weekly or monthly safety meetings and openly discuss all changes, before they are implemented.
  2. Let them be heard – provide a forum for staff members to voice their opinions, concerns and ideas without fear of reprimand.
  3. Recognise hard work – when an employee goes above and beyond what is asked of them, make sure they are recognised for their efforts.
  4. Set clear guidelines – employees must know what they are striving for, and displaying/discussing safety parameters helps provide clarity.
  5. Continue their education – proper safety tactics cannot be relegated to a “one and done” meeting. It’s better to hold ongoing sessions to keep skills sharp.
  6. Instil a sense of ownership – let employees know their worth and show that you trust them to do the job right, every time.
  7. Maintain your compassion – if someone is injured or has a scare, show that you care about their well-being, rather than diving directly into corrective measures.
  8. Give credit where it’s due – if an employee reports a near-miss, provides an idea that is later implemented or continues to look out for the safety of others, reward dedication to safety.
  9. Provide the necessary tools – ensure your team is equipped appropriately to execute the job safely and replace those that may hinder such efforts.

Once properly implemented, these tips have the potential to become the turning point your company needs to build a safer, more engaged workplace. Just remember, these actions cannot be forced upon a team. Allow them to take hold naturally and invite them to offer feedback and opinions as things progress.

Call us today for more help on creative ways to increase the safety of your workforce.