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Workplace Safety: It’s All in the Attitude
Are your employees of the mindset that "it will never happen to me?" Here are some tips to get everyone on board to proactively prevent workplace injuries.
A company can go for years and years without a workplace injury, but without proactive employees who feel empowered to keep the worksite safe, serious accidents may be just around the corner.
According to OSHA, 80% of workplace accidents are caused by behaviors, whereas 20% are caused by unsafe conditions. While it’s important to ensure all equipment is working properly, employers should also hold regular safety training to emphasize proper behavior. Consider this OSHA example:
“After 15 years on the job and no injuries, Cathy probably thought a workplace injury couldn't happen to her. But when a part jammed in the automobile assembly plant press, she quickly reached in to pull it out instead of properly shutting down the machine. As a result, Cathy’s arm became pinned inside the machine.”
Employees who get into the groove of focusing solely on their jobs and not taking a moment to proactively prevent an injury may need an attitude adjustment. Here are a few ideas:
Workplace Safety: Teach employees through well-chosen safety meeting topics
In order to develop an injury-prevention attitude in employees, help them understand how easily accidents can happen at your workplace. In addition to selecting safety meeting topics that are most relevant to your workplace, also point out potential hazards that can arise from everyday situations. Emphasize that no deadline, quota, or order is more important than employee safety. Show pictures and videos to drive home the importance of safety.Related articles:
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Workplace Safety: Reward safety-minded behaviors in employees
Encourage managers to notice and acknowledge any efforts by an employee that encourage safety in the workplace. Create a system for employees to report their coworkers’ safe acts and share these safety moments in your weekly meetings. Conduct a weekly or monthly drawing to reward those who reportedly improved safety, as well as those who reported the safety acts. The more you remind and encourage employees to be safety-minded, the more observant and proactive they’ll become.
Workplace Safety: Encourage employees to become the safety teachers
If you have a designated safety coordinator who runs safety trainings, encourage them to allot a 2-minute “speed training” moment to an employee who must come prepared with a potential safety hazard they’ve noticed at work -- and be sure to rotate the responsibility each time you hold a training. This will give employees a voice and a better understanding of the safety concern, and encourage them to always be on the lookout for unsafe areas that need improvement.
Employee behavior is perhaps the most significant contributor to workplace safety. For more ideas on how to encourage safety-minded employees or help with your risk management program, please complete the form below.
It's easy for employees to think they won't get hurt at work, but that can lead to lackadaisical attitudes about preventing workplace injuries.