In many ways, you create a safety-first culture by engaging your employees. You want them to care about details, to follow the correct procedures, and to remain aware of their surroundings at all times. This will help you lower the risks of injuries and accidents.
This focus on engagement has other impacts as well. The same process that defines a good safety culture also provides benefits in other areas. For instance, one study showed that disengaged workers fell short on a variety of measures. Yes, accidents rose 49%. But researchers also found a 37% increase absenteeism and a 60% jump in errors.
Clearly, a strong safety culture intersects with other major parts of your operation. But what can you do to bolster it? Here are a few steps you can take to promote a safety-first culture:
Define Your Safety Culture
The term “safety-first culture” has a lot of potential meanings. In itself, those words represent a goal, not a policy.
To really make safety one of your core values, you need to create specific objectives. From there, you can come up with day-to-day policies. Undertaking this process will give you a template for a more precise safety operation.
Communicate Your Vision
A meaningful culture requires buy-in from every level of the organization. You need each employee to understand the vision and to execute it on a daily basis. Getting to that point is up to you.
Have a strategy to communicate your safety culture. Know what you want your employees to do and figure out how to relay that message to the people who will live it as part of their everyday routines.
Provide Ongoing Training
Every new employee should get the standard safety training. You probably have that covered already. But how much follow up do you provide?
It’s important to keep the education going. Even after your rookie workers have become grizzled veterans, you want to provide frequent refreshers. This will keep your employees current on new procedures and techniques. It will also let you highlight points of emphasis.
Make sure your workers live up to your safety expectations. Review their performance and correct errors. This kind of accountability is crucial to maintaining compliance over time.
However, heed a warning here. Accountability isn’t the same as finger-pointing. You want to fix problems, not just call out individuals and blame them for mistakes.
Accountability provides one side of the safety coin. You want to identify issues and correct them quickly. However, you shouldn’t ignore the other side: giving praise.
Ideally, everyone should comply with all your safety protocols. You want to give positive reinforcement when this happens. Do this by setting safety goals and then offering rewards when your team achieves them.
A safety-first culture comes easy when you have the right team in place. A high-level recruiter, like SmartTalent, can provide the careful, conscientious workers you need to maintain the highest standards.