5 Ways to Create a Safety Conscious Work Environment
It takes a lot more than having great training and great processes and procedures in place to build a safe workplace. Unless you create a safety conscious environment where the workforce feels compelled to comply with those processes, then things are still likely to go wrong at any given time. This takes a commitment from everyone at the business to get involved in and take ownership of not only their own safety, but also that of those around them.
Make Safety the Number 1 Business Priority
The most effective way to create a safety conscious work environment is to make safety the top priority of everyone who works within the business at all times. Unfortunately, for many businesses it takes something to go wrong for it to become a focus, but safety should always be viewed as preventative rather than reactive. It’s important to foster an environment where employees feel that nothing comes above safety, even if it costs money or takes time. And remember, the eventual costs of an unsafe workplace will far outweigh the cost of implementing and maintaining good practices.
Ward off Complacency
Safety in the workplace is an evolving issue, and not one that any business should ever take for granted. There are always improvements that can be made regardless of how stringent you are, and as a business it’s your responsibility to actively seek to improve. As soon as you start to believe that things are good enough as they are, that’s when complacency will begin to set in. Complacency kills, so it’s essential to continually strive to push the boundaries when it comes to improving safety.
Any workplace that presents the possibility of injury needs effective risk management and it’s something that every employee should be involved in helping with. Identifying potential risks and developing procedures that minimise them is critical, and you don’t have to be a health and safety expert to do this. Part of a successful health and safety policy should include everyone bearing responsibility for risk management, regardless of their position within the company.
Reward Good Practice
If safety is really the number 1 business priority then maintaining a safe workplace should be rewarded. Everyone likes to be recognised for a job well done and rewarding good behaviours is a fantastic way to make sure that they continue. It takes a high level of constant concentration to maintain good safety levels and it’s not something that should be taken for granted. How you choose to reward your people is entirely down to you, but celebrating its success is an effective tool in promoting a safe workplace.
Give Employees Ownership of Safety Procedures
Employees should be responsible for all safety processes, and a great way to make people feel responsible is to give them ownership. That means reporting unsafe conditions or behaviours that they come across, staying on top of the latest rules and regulations, and giving them a hand in improving safety through suggesting new ideas.
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