It’s easy to say “safety first.” It’s tougher to truly carry it out.
Here are a few signs that you and your organization practice what you preach when it comes to employee safety:
- Your workflow expectations match your safety doctrine.
Your production quotas aren’t so high, nor deadlines so tight that workers have to cut corners on safety to meet them. You’ve tested and verified that it is possible to meet expectations while following all of the proper safety procedures. One way to test this: if you catch a frontline employee violating your safety rules, ask why. You might learn that the employee feels the need to carry too much at once or skip putting on safety equipment in order to meet production goals.
- All leaders consistently communicate the company’s safety expectations to staff.
Safety procedures are part of new-hire training, and then reiterated and expanded upon regularly by supervisors. Safety is mentioned often — a regular topic in staff meetings. Employees know if they break safety rules, their supervisors won’t look the other way. The communication isn’t limited to words. Employees see that their supervisors follow the safety rules, too.
- You analyze your safety programs to make sure they’re working.
Just like you’d analyze any other process change or company initiative to make sure it’s giving you the desired results, you evaluate your safety efforts periodically to see if they’re working. You make changes as necessary to improve your results. Safety initiatives aren’t rolled out and then forgotten. You remind your staff about ongoing safety programs regularly to keep them top of mind.
- Your workplace is an environment of mutual respect.
Since employees often know best the safety risks and challenges of their jobs, your company fosters an atmosphere in which employees feel comfortable informing leadership when there’s an issue or opportunity for improvement. Similarly, employees respect their leaders enough to follow company safety rules.
Management sets the tone for employee safety. Employees can tell the difference between a management team that just says “safety first” and one that really means it, and their behavior will follow suit.