• Five things that you never expect on how to keep employees involved and interested in occupational safety and health initiatives

    safety leadership, safety programme, occupational safety and health, safety culture
    October, 2021

    Five things that you never expect on how to keep employees involved and interested in occupational safety and health initiatives

    safety leadership, safety programme, occupational safety and health, safety culture

    Organisations across Australia are always striving to achieve the highest standards for occupational safety and health right from the stage of planning. Even though safety is considered as every individual’s responsibility, largely this responsibility remains with the employer, but without employee’s involvement and commitment, it seems an impossible task. Hence employee’s involvement and commitment to safety programmes are becoming an integral part an organisation.

    To achieve the organisation’s goal for workplace health and safety standards, top management is dedicated to generating tons of resources to build a variety of safety programmes, training, and campaigns to train their workforce to achieve their goals.

    Sometimes despite the organisation’s massive efforts for the preparation of these programmes, if there is a gap observed between the workplace health and safety goals of the organisation and behaviour-based safety of the organisation’s workforce, then it is time to promote motivation and keep them involved and interested in the development of the workplace health and safety programmes of the organisation. This can be achieved by following the below work practices.

    Value | Make Occupational Safety and Health  a value of the organisation’s health and safety culture of the organisation

    Right from the stage of the interview process of the employee’s recruitment, it is very important to nurture their thinking that workplace health and safety is a value and not a mere priority of the organisation. This can be explained to them by various examples that one’s priority keeps on changing as per the variable circumstances but value cannot be changed. This thinking should be repeatedly reminded to them during their hiring and training phases so that it will be the way of working for the employees to build strong health and safety culture of the organisation. All employees can be trained to speak about a safety topic that they will implement in their day-to-day work practices at the beginning of their shift during tool box meetings or pre-job meetings.

    Motivate | Safety Leadership Programme for the Employees

    Each employee should be encouraged to be a safety leader in their workgroup by instilling thinking that leadership is a quality and not the position and to be a good Safety Leader, one does not need to be a Supervisor and Manager. Any employee can be a Safety Leader, if they are involved in the motivation and of successful involvement in workplace health and safety training programmes, and campaigns. This process is enhanced by providing an opportunity for each individual to become a Safety Leader.

    Positive Reinforcement | Diligent Use of Positive Reinforcement

    Behaviour Based Safety Program can be made more effective by positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is nothing but a result of repeated positive safe behaviour and this repeated positive safety behaviour becomes a habit if it is used in increasing frequency. Positive reinforcement is a part and partial of any workplace health and safety program and is one of the significant causes for building positive safety culture. Employees are encouraged to motivate each other by repeatedly praising and thanking each other if they observe positive safety behaviour. Negative safety behaviour should not be ignored however minor it is and each employee should be trained to correct this whenever they observe such behaviour.  This practice works very well when employees are repeatedly reminded of diligent use of positive reinforcement.

    Ownership| Feeling of Ownership of Safety Programme for Each Employee

    Sense of ownership among employees can result in a more committed and motivated workforce if each employee is allowed to play an active role in practicing various safety programmes. Each employee should be allowed to give their feedback for the Safety Programme and they should be kept updated about the outcome of their feedback.

    Encourage| Encouragement of Employee Feedback

    As Stephen Convey stated without involvement, there is no commitment. All employees should be encouraged to provide feedback on the Safety Programme of the organisation. Positive feedback should be used as a record for planning the development of a safety programme. Negative feedback should be taken as an opportunity to listen to the concerns of the employees and should be communicated with the management for the improvement of the safety programme. Employees should be kept updated about the progress and development of their feedback provided.

    If employees are involved in the development of the safety programme, they will realise the workplace health and safety as a value for the organisation and this can be the strong pillar to build the positive health and safety culture of the organisation.

    Have you seen our Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors training? We are providing this WHS training across Australia, online and onsite. Contact us for more information to improve your safety leadership and occupational safety and health.

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