You want to create a culture of safety at your workplace. But beyond holding safety meetings, what can you do? Here are three tips to help:
1. Walk the talk
You can’t persuade others to adopt a safe attitude if you don’t have one yourself. Be a role model. Conduct a job safety analysis for every task you perform and every task you ask others to perform. Wear your PPE, don’t take shortcuts and don’t hesitate to stop a job if you deem it unsafe. And don’t restrict safety to the workplace. Safety is an inherent belief that follows you everywhere. At home, wear PPE when you use a power tool and watch for overhead power lines when you fix your roof. Demonstrate a safe attitude and pass it on to your children and neighbors. When safety is a part of every one of your routines, others will begin to believe in it too.
2. Involve the opinion leaders
In every workplace, there are employees who influence the attitudes of others, usually in an unofficial capacity. They’re the ones that other workers turn to for advice, and for hints on how to interpret workplace rules. Enlist these influential people. Let them know that your objective is to reduce injuries and fatalities. Let them know that their co-workers are in danger – and they themselves are in danger – and that a safe attitude is the best form of protection. But it can’t be bought, it can’t be worn, it can’t be delegated. It must be adopted. Include these leaders in the job safety analyses. Invite them to be volunteers at the safety meetings, to share their experiences and to mentor new employees.
3. Record and reward
Measure your workplace’s safety performance and discuss the results at safety meetings. Show workers that safety practices are effective and reward their successes.
Creating a culture of safety requires the personal commitment of everyone involved. It might take some time, but the accidents averted and lives saved are worth the effort.