Safety and health in the workplace is a vital topic for business owners. If you don’t comply and get found out by safety inspectors you could face huge fines. And if an employee has an accident that is deemed as your fault, you could even end up in prison, as well as facing huge compensation payments.
So, we all know the reasons why employers should take a healthy interest in safety. But the trouble is, not all of your employees feel the same way. You only have to look at the yawns and bored expressions at your safety meetings to see that your staff would rather be elsewhere. And it can cause huge issues in the event of an accident occurring on your premises. , which, even if it isn’t your fault, could end up with a damaging investigation or compensation claim.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see how important getting your employees on board with health and safety is so important. Here are a few ideas for you to try out and see if you can get them a little more interested and invested in a positive safety culture.
Integrated, not separated
The first step is to integrate safety and health into your overall work processes. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in if it is part of your employee’s daily routine, it will become easier to get them on board. Avoid sporadic health and safety meetings, and ensure that you set aside time in everyone’s diaries so they can attend without feeling like they have better things to do.
Don’t leave your employees out of the loop when it comes to making decisions about their health. They can be an invaluable resource, and it will help them feel more involved. Perhaps you could take their advice on getting personal protective equipment that suits them better than that which they currently have to wear? Or maybe you could ask them about their biggest safety concerns? Always ask for feedback and acknowledge good ideas.
Improve your safety meetings
Let’s be honest, most safety meetings are dull, boring, and many people would prefer to stick pins in their eyes than attend. Go about things differently, however, and you might see improve results and more engagement. Perhaps you could nominate someone with a big personality to act as the safety and health rep, who can present the vital info in a more engaging way. Maybe you could bring in speakers from the police or fire departments. There’s a lot you can do, and all it takes a little creative thinking to improve your meetings and get better levels of buy-in from your workers.
Use positive reinforcement
As a final point, positive reinforcement gives you an opportunity to drum in the importance of safety without getting nasty. While there will be times when discipline is required – for repeat and serious offenders, for example – if you can keep things positive it will go a long way to getting your team on board. Even a simple thanks or a reminder they are contributing to a safe workplace can be useful.