Workplace safety is a team effort, requiring buy-in from employees at all levels. While many companies stress the importance of safety at the management level, regular employees are rarely given a voice in the safety process. Encourage them to be part of your overall safety improvement strategy by voicing concerns or pointing out problems and, when they engage, celebrate their efforts. Here are just a few ways you can empower your team to create a safer work environment.

Encourage employee input

Your frontline employees are often best positioned to identify and report safety and health concerns, hazards, unsafe conditions, near misses, and actual incidents that may have otherwise gone unreported. When management is notified early and often about potential hazards, steps can be taken to prevent future injuries and accidents.

Allow your employees to participate in the daily safety process by encouraging them to bring concerns directly to their manager or safety team representative as soon as possible. Invite employees to make suggestions about how to correct a safety issue in the ways that work best for them. After all, the best safety strategies are the ones that employees will actually follow. By creating safety leaders at every level, you help ensure that all of your employees have skin in the safety game. Check out How to Create a Culture of Safety for more tips on how to create a holistic approach to safety in your workplace.

Coach and be coached

Common sense tells us that when employees know more about their jobs and the potential safety risks involved, the less likely they are to take shortcuts that could lead to injury. However, with a focus on meeting production goals and deadlines, how much time do employers spend training and coaching employees beyond the initial training period? When you coach employees to better understand the unique safety risks of their individual jobs, they are better prepared to make decisions to keep themselves and their co-workers safe.

By adopting a coaching approach to safety, you not only allow employees to better understand the safety issues of their own position, you also allow them to pass their knowledge and observations on to other workers within the company. Instead of only having managers as coaches, ask employees who have previously worked at a station to coach newer workers about the potential safety hazards they should watch out for. Encourage employees to provide feedback to one another and offer suggestions to management about how safety issues can be addressed at each individual workstation or area. To give your employees ideas about safety concerns or particular issues to watch out for, check out Safety Meeting Topics for Your Employees.

Make education a priority

Education is key to creating a safer work environment and empowering your team. Employees who receive ongoing education and training about safety issues in their industry and workplace are more likely to speak up and participate in creating a safer workplace.

Education and training not only makes workers more aware of the potential hazards they face in the workplace, but also gives them a deeper understanding of the methods and strategies they can employ to help avoid injuries and accidents. When employees have a more complete picture of the safety concerns they face and the prevention strategies they can use, they are more likely to report potentially hazardous situations. Continuously reinforcing the knowledge garnered from these training opportunities will help you create a more empowered workforce and a safer work environment.

Making a commitment to training is a critical step in empowering your employees to invest in a culture of safety. Whether you need on-site training, webinars, access to 24/7 training modules, or a customized safety plan, your partners at Sheakley are here to keep your employees and your business safe. Register today for safety training opportunities offered by Sheakley’s safety experts to help keep your staff aware of the latest standards and protocols.

Recognize safety superstars

Recognize and celebrate the impact that contributions made by individual employees have in creating a safer work environment for all. These safety superstars are crucial in motivating the rest of your employees to take a more central role in the safety process.

Celebrate safety milestones, such as “90 days without a safety incident”, that bring your team together in the quest to create a safer work environment. Recognize the efforts of teams of employees as well as the work of individuals. Consider putting up a “Safety All-Star” bulletin board in a central location or offering recognition at morning or weekly staff meetings. Acknowledging the progress and contributions of your employees to the overall safety effort will encourage other employees to participate and demonstrate the company’s appreciation for efforts to create a safer workplace. Read Tips for More Effective Safety Meetings to learn more about getting employees more involved in the safety process.

Your partner in safety

Keeping your workforce safe is priority one for your company. Sheakley can help you develop better policies and provide assistance with developing safety programs and training opportunities to help you achieve your safety goals. Our experts are here to keep your employees and your business safe. Sheakley’s Workforce Management Services experts provide complete safety resources for your company.

Get your free safety consultation today with one of our experts. Stay up-to-date on all things Sheakley by subscribing to our blog and following us on social media. Join the discussion by commenting below.