How Do You Make People More Safety Conscious?
When it comes to safety, it may seem like a no-brainer that those who have OSHA to guide them would not become complacent. However, for those who work in the construction or warehousing fields, it does not work like that.
Workers need regular reminders about safety so that accidents do not occur as often. With some simple implementations, the idea of being safe will always be on their minds.
Even Marines Forget About Safety
Combat engineers are an important part of the Marine Corps' operations. A good friend of mine was telling me, though, that back in 2005 when he was in Fallujah, they had a workplace accident.
The platoon was clearing debris into a 7-ton truck and began making a game of launching it from 50 feet away, not knowing that a fellow lance corporal was on the side of the truck. A piece of 2"x4" missed the truck and hit him in the head, cutting him.
It was a needless non-combat injury, further proving the importance of being safe.
How Many Days Since the Last Accident?
One of the best ways to have a regular reminder about safety is to set goals for how many days a team can go without a workplace incident. When certain benchmarks are met, such as a month, 50 days, 100 days, and so on, there should be a celebration. Perhaps the team can get out of work an hour early, get creative!
This needs to be implemented with a visual reminder so that people can see it. When the day is over and it has been without accidents, a team member should be asked to change the number so as to reinforce the good day that was just had.
Recognition goes a long way in the workplace. When a person does something exceptional, whether it is revising a safety program, taking on extra responsibilities, or finding a defect in a piece of machinery, they need to be publicly rewarded. A plaque, a gift card, or even a trophy can accompany this reward.
This inspires safety and lets people on the team know that they are truly valuable. There are few times that people are recognized, and when they save lives, they need to know that the leadership of the team recognizes their contributions.
Incentives for being safe can be a touchy subject, check out this active discussion on LinkedIn.
Encourage Open Communication
Open communication with safety managers and co-workers is essential to create a safety conscious work environment. Employees need to know they can come to management without fear of retribution to report violations of safety procedure.
When workers are encouraged to communicate about safety they begin to take an actionable approach to workplace safety. This keeps safety at the forefront of their minds.