How to Implement a Timely Safety Culture Program for Any Business
We have extensive material covering safety culture and safety programs within various different organizations – but what if you need to implement a safety culture within your business today?
Here’s the true (and slightly disappointing) reality: real change takes time. Management must understand the safety of every worker is worth any investment and start making daily improvements. A culture of safety comes from the continuous commitment to valuing the safety and well-being of employees just as much as production.
This article will cover a few different ways you can start building a culture of safety today. While these tips cover time-sensitive implementation, for a more in-depth discussion about creating an effective, long-lasting safety culture, please read our various articles on the subject.
Here are a few ways you can implement a timely safety culture program for any business:
1. Get Visible
Based on our work with companies across industries, the best thing you as a leader can do is to get visible. Take a quick inventory of where you spend your time during the day. What percentage of your day is spent in the office? What percentage is spent next to front-line laborers and leaders?
According to research, only 34% of U.S. employees are engaged in their job. When an employee is disengaged, he or she becomes more likely to be the victim of injury. But here’s what happens when we get visible and connect with people: we show employees they can trust their employer.
Great employee-employer relationships start on a foundation of trust. Take inventory of your day and plan for time spent connecting with front-line workers. You’ll pave the way for trust through small acts.
2. Include Safety In Every Single Meeting Agenda
These safety discussions do not have to be incredibly in-depth, yet – nor does the safety portion have to take up more than 5-10 minutes of time. However, by including a small discussion of safety concerns, solutions, and procedures at the beginning of every single meeting within the organization can heavily impact your employees, without having to set aside a large chunk of time that may not be available yet.
NOTE: While your business may not have the time to hold a long, in-depth safety meeting today, it is crucial to allocate a significant chunk of time to addressing safety concerns and culture within the organization. At the beginning of the next meeting, ask the team to identify one hazard they have seen within the last week in their work. Then, as a team, brainstorm ways to reduce exposure. After the team has identified the best one or two ways to address the issue, assign someone to implement the suggestions and check back often to make sure the issue has been addressed.
3. Involve Employees With Surveys, Suggestion Boxes, or Forums
This is a quick, surefire method of creating employee engagement when it comes to safety – especially in conjunction with the above two methods. Through one-on-one conversations, and even the small discussions of safety within department-specific meetings, empower your employees with the ability to directly offer suggestions and raise concerns through surveys, suggestion boxes, or even a simple company-wide forum. This allows you to immediately collect department-specific insights from the people who know best about where safety is lacking and how to address it.
Most importantly, these suggestions must be taken seriously and addressed by management. If they go unread or unaddressed, you will lose trust with employees. When asking for suggestions, take them seriously and find ways to implement feasible ideas.
4. Empower Employees With Safety Committees
Safety committees are effective tools in combating safety faults within any business – and they become even more effective and empowering when your employees are allowed to select, create, and lead the committees with minimal oversight. Set basic guidelines and directions, then let your committees be responsible for raising concerns, addressing weak-points, and creating practical procedures within their respective departments. You’ll be amazed by the results this responsibility will have on the safety culture of your employees throughout the organization.
For more tips on running an effective safety committee, check out this article.
Ultimately, immediate methods of creating a strong safety culture within any business can create some results – but it is only through the ongoing commitment of leadership and the continuous improvement of the process that this culture can continue to maintain growth and credibility. If you are ready to begin investing in the development of your own safety culture, do not hesitate to reach out to us by phone at 630.759.9908 or by email at Info@Optimum-USA.com.