It’s no secret that workplace accidents can be catastrophic, not only for the employees involved but also for the company as a whole.
In order to create a safe and healthy work environment, mitigate risks, and protect workers, it is critical to establish a culture of safety in your company from the top down.
Here are 10 essential steps for building a safety culture in the workplace:
1. Establish clear safety policies and procedures
The first step in building a safety culture is to establish clear policies and procedures. Employees should know what is expected of them in terms of safety, and managers should be held accountable for enforcing these policies.
This also involves establishing disciplinary policies such as a formal “days away from work” policy, which is tied to the severity of the safety infraction and the number of violations on record.
2. Promote safety as a core value
One of the most important aspects of building a safety culture is making safety a core value of the company. This means that safety must be given priority over other factors, such as production goals.
Safety should be part of the company’s overall vision and messages and safety initiatives should be designed into every aspect of the organization. A safety program needs to be more than just a written manual or book of procedures, but rather a mindset or attitude engrained into all daily functions.
As a manager, it’s important to lead by example and always practice what you preach when it comes to safety. Your employees will take their cue from you, so set the tone and make safety a priority. In return, organizations with a strong safety culture have more engaged employees.
3. Provide adequate training
Employees can’t follow safety procedures if they don’t know what they are. That’s why it’s important to provide adequate training on all aspects of safety, from proper lifting techniques to using personal protective equipment.
We recommend implementing quarterly safety training classes to keep employees current on relevant topics and up to date with the latest safety protection available.
Training materials should also be incorporated by displaying safety messages throughout the workplace. The best ways for safety messages to resonate with employees is for them to:
- Watch them (safety training videos)
- Hear them (discussion and feedback on safety issues)
- Read them (posters, emails, and newsletters)
4. Implement monthly safety committee meetings
Another way to create a positive safety culture is to implement monthly safety committee meetings. These team meetings should be attended by management, supervisors, and construction staff.
During these meetings, safety concerns can be discussed openly and solutions can be brainstormed. Additionally, these meetings provide an opportunity for everyone to stay up-to-date on safety procedures and protocols.
By holding regular safety committee meetings, construction companies can help ensure that safety is always a top priority.
5. Foster a workplace culture of mutual respect
Respect is a two-way street, and it’s important that both management and employees respect each other’s role in creating a safety culture.
Maintaining open lines of communication and encouraging feedback can help create a culture of mutual respect.
6. Perform a daily hazard analysis
It’s also important to perform a daily hazard analysis to identify potential risks on the job site for the day’s tasks and activities. This should be done by the foreman or another designated individual.
By being proactive and identifying potential occupational safety hazards before they occur, you can take steps to prevent them from becoming actual risks. This helps keep everyone on the job site safe.
7. Encourage employees to report hazards
An effective safety culture relies on employees feeling comfortable reporting hazards. Employees should know that their concerns will be taken seriously and that they will not be penalized for speaking up.
Encouraging employees to report safety hazards also helps you stay aware of potential risks on the job site so that you can take steps to mitigate them.
8. Investigate accidents and near-misses
Accidents and near-misses are opportunities to learn and improve workplace safety. It’s important to investigate these incidents thoroughly in order to identify any potential hazards.
When an incident does occur, it should be addressed promptly and thoroughly. This includes investigating the incident, identifying the root cause, and taking steps to prevent it from happening again.
9. Implement corrective actions
Once hazards have been identified, it’s important to take corrective action to mitigate the risks. This may involve changes to policies and procedures, additional training, or the use of personal protective equipment.
It’s also important to educate foremen that they will be held equally accountable for the safety actions of their workers under them. When responsibility is shared among management levels, it creates a safer workplace and stronger construction safety culture.
10. Evaluate and adjust as needed
A safety culture is not static–it should be constantly evaluated and adjusted as needed. Regular audits, inspections, and policy reviews can help identify areas that need improvement.
Employees should also be encouraged to provide feedback on how well the safety culture is working. When both employees and management work together, it only helps to solidify and improve safety culture in the workplace.
Workplace safety culture development is essential to preventing accidents and ensuring a healthy and productive workforce.
By following these tips, you can create a culture of safety that will benefit your employees and your business.