Safety: Encouraging Employee Involvement
Employees are your first line of defense against safety concerns. They are on the front lines and the assembly lines, and they witness more safety offenses and violations than even their managers can catch. They also often have the best ideas for improving safety. So, how do you help employees help your safety program?
Reward Safety Records
Recognition is often the highest form of praise and the highest form of motivation for other employees. Publicly recognizing safety records is a key to developing better safety practices. Some other reward systems that may help employees follow safety procedures and remain safe in their jobs include:
- Monetary rewards. Everyone likes money, and a monetary reward for safety records can encourage employees to strive for perfection.
- Competition. Offering employees a competition for a large reward can encourage employees to maintain and improve safety numbers.
Encouraging Employee Involvement
Another way to make safety more interesting to employees is to encourage employees to assist in safety procedure development. Some tips to encourage involvement follow:
- Offering employees free time away from their assigned jobs to assist in safety procedure development teams can increase safety drive. Being involved in larger tasks encourages employees to implement or continue safety practices.
- Offering rewards for management-chosen safety suggestions through a suggestion box or on-line suggestion system can encourage employees to become involved in safety and make them more cognizant of current safety practices.
- Encourage employees to point out areas in which employees may not be safety-conscious, either willfully or un-willfully, can assist the safety team in addressing unknown issues. A reward system or a discretionary guarantee for safety whistle-blowing may be necessary since employees often do not want to “tattle” on persons or groups.
Having Fun with Safety
Safety can be fun, and annual safety meetings can be interesting. The following suggestions can make safety more interesting to employees:
- Show funny slides of safety issues. There are a lot of safety pictures on the internet that will make employees laugh. Showing some crazy pictures can lighten a safety meeting mood.
- Holding a theme meeting can also make meetings more fun. The themes can be anything from safety-related themes to tiki party themes. Music, contests, and theme related games before your safety presentation can also lighten the mood.
- If you feed them, they will come. Food and drinks often draw even the most resistant employee or placate a resistant employee.
- Encourage managers to have fun. Employees will follow suit.
If your employees are not excited about safety management, encouraging involvement, rewarding safety, and having fun with safety management can help your employee get on board with safety management.