Employees often groan when they’re told they have to go to a safety seminar or watch yet another safety video. In fact, safety is often seen as something that gets in the way of getting stuff done. Employees can sometimes have a negative attitude towards safety procedures and processes, but safety is absolutely necessary. As a business owner or manager, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your employees safe, even if they don’t want it. One way of actually improving safety is to change your employees’ attitudes toward it. Here are five ways you can do this.
1. Train Employees on Safety When They’re Hired.
First, start off by training all of your employees when they’re hired for your safety procedures. This way, they will already understand what’s required. If someone understands what’s expected of them when it comes to safety, they will be less likely to find it irritating down the road. Make sure you explain why each safety procedure is done. This also helps make it clearer why you have the policies in place and what could happen if they aren’t followed.
2. Encourage Employees to Make Suggestions.
Make sure your employees know that they can come to you with ideas about new safety procedures or to point out areas where the safety procedures aren’t adequate. This helps your employees feel like they’re a part of the safety process. As such, they will feel like they have some say in how processes are designed, making them more interested. Talking about safety issues also keeps safety fresh and on everyone’s mind.
3. Act Quickly to Correct Safety Issues.
It helps to show your employees that you take safety issues very seriously. If someone comes to you with a concern, act on it as soon as you can. Don’t punish the messenger, either, or berate employees who may have been making mistakes. Instead, use the situation as a learning tool. Show employees that you care by jumping on the issue, then follow it up with additional training or policy changes to make sure it never occurs again. The bottom line is that if you don’t deal with safety issues in a timely manner, employees will assume that you don’t really care about safety. If you don’t, they won’t, either.
4. Aim for Zero Harm.
The idea of a zero harm workplace sounds perfect: it’s a business where no one is exposed to any type of injury. All of your employees, customers, vendors, and others who visit the workplace are completely safe. While you may not be able to achieve zero harm, it’s still a concept that is important to implement. By striving for zero harm, you may achieve something very, very close to it where only a few accidents occur every year. That’s realistic and very possible.
5. Lead by Example.
Finally, don’t forget to follow all safety protocols and procedures yourself. If you ignore the rules, how can you expect your employees to follow them? Show everyone that you have a positive attitude towards safety and will happily follow the correct safety procedures.
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