It’s not enough today for an organisation to say they take the health and safety of their employees seriously. It needs to be part of the organisation’s culture. One or two safety initiatives doesn’t change attitudes and actions. A safety culture is achieved through many different safety actions and shared values from the majority of staff at all levels.
Use some of these ideas to improve the safety culture at your organisation.
#1 Conduct a Gap Analysis on Safety Culture
A gap analysis identifies where the organisation wants to be with safety compared to the workers’ view of the organisation's current safety culture. A survey of all workers can identify the status quo. From the results, identify any leadership and behavioural gaps and how they can be addressed. It may be a number of the following ideas that help close the gap.
#2 Organisation-Wide Focus on Safety
Make safety a focus for all employees across the organisation. When all staff are exposed to the safety messages, it becomes an organisational focus, no matter whether all employees are office-based, or if you have a mixture of office-based and field-based workers.
#3 Keep Safety Top of Mind
Keep your chosen safety messages in front of employees. These messages will differ from organisation to organisation, so it’s important to establish what’s important to employees and how to keep them safe in the workplace. Whether you keep safety top of mind through posters around the workplace, notifications on the intranet, including a message on email signatures, feature a safety section on the staff newsletter, give a quick summary of initiatives at morning meetings, or something completely different, keeping the messages consistent is paramount.
#4 Staff Teach the Safety Message
Rather than leaving it up to line managers and supervisors to spread the safety message, ask workers at all levels to contribute to educating and reminding their colleagues about safety. Have a different staff member deliver the daily meeting or a safety message at the monthly team meetings.
#5 Spend Money on Ergonomic and Safety Equipment
Workers want to know that the organisation takes safety seriously by going above and beyond to look after employees, their safety and even their health. If office staff are going to contribute to the organisation’s safety culture, their risks should be addressed with ergonomic equipment to keep them safe from the risks associated with static posture and repetitive tasks. Conduct workplace ergonomic assessments to ensure every individual has the ergonomic equipment and aids they need to keep them safe.
#6 Offer Interactive Safety Training
Consider if your training on safety is outdated or boring. If so, consider upgrading it to eLearning modules. Investing in safety training makes it obvious to new recruits that the company takes safety seriously. Interactive training that uses multiple senses can provide workers with better retention rates. Make it compulsory for all staff to complete refresher training so it stays top of mind.
#7 Safety From the Top Down
Workers won’t take safety seriously if management doesn’t. A safe work culture is driven from the top down and the bottom up responding. If senior management is onboard with safety, then it becomes ingrained into the culture of the business.
#8 Have Organisation-Wide Safety Champions
Encourage staff to take on the role of safety champion. The organisation’s champions strictly adhere to the organisation’s health and safety guidelines and take an active role in the safety committee. They encourage all staff to perpetuate their good habits and keep the workforce motivated about health and safety.
Safety champions are the link between management and staff and help make safety programs in the organisation a success. Make sure there is a spread of champions throughout the organisation looking out for colleagues in all types of roles.
#9 Celebrate National Worksafe Month
In Australia, October is National Safe Work Month. Host a variety of events such as a breakfast or lunch workshops, quizzes, or even a launch of a new online learning or safety video. This time of year is also the best time to announce safety champions and present awards to employees who go above and beyond to keep employees safe, comfortable and heard.
#10 Encourage Hazard and Incident Reporting
An organisation can make safety a focus but destroy some of the good work by making a negative out of hazards and near misses. Reporting safety incidents shouldn’t be treated as a negative, rather it should be seen as an opportunity to learn and improve safety. The organisation needs to go one step further to not only foster a culture of safety, but also a culture of reporting. An employee won’t report a hazard if they don’t feel comfortable or their manager is less than appreciative. Instead, celebrate their initiative for calling attention to the safety concern and their contribution to fostering the workplace’s safety culture.
There are so many initiatives and good ideas out there when it comes to improving the safety culture of the organisation. With a concerted effort from workers throughout the organisation, it’s possible to make safety a clear part of workplace culture. Get in touch with Ergolink to discuss your organisation’s ergonomic requirements by giving us a call on 9240 7066 or contact us online.