22 Jan Employee Participation in Safety
A workplace safety program only works when top leadership, management, and employees alike are engaged. It’s easy to get leadership on board with a safety program. After all, workplace safety is government mandated and ultimately saves the company time and resources in the long run. But how do you get employee participation in the workplace safety program?
OSHA says, “Worker participation is meaningfully engaging workers at all levels in establishing, implementing, evaluating, and improving safety and health in the workplace.” You can read their full article on worker participation HERE.
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Workplace safety is really all about the employee – every employee from the top down. It makes sense that an effective safety program includes participation from all employees in every department and level in the hierarchy. The truth is, your workers are the real experts when it comes to occupational health and safety. Afterall, they are the ones actually out there doing the job. Without input and engagement from employees, a safety program will always be limited in its depth and real-life application to the workplace. But when all employees are encouraged to give input, point out hazards, and share new ideas, an organization can thrive in the area of safety.
The possibilities for keeping employees engaged with safety are nearly endless. Still, it can be difficult to come up with ideas that work for you and your workforce. Consider implementing your own version of these employee engagement strategies:
Activities and recognition programs are great, but they only go so far without the push to keep the initiatives going. Take the time on the front end to make sure your program includes everyone from high level management and office personnel to technicians out in the field. Create a culture from the top down where your everyday employees are recognized as the experts on workplace safety.
Above all, be sure to listen. Employees are often just waiting for an open door to share their ideas and concerns. When they come to you about safety, stop what you’re doing and listen. Take all ideas into genuine consideration and look into what it will take to make your workers’ ideas a reality.
Safety is at its best when everyone is engaged and involved. Maximize your workplace safety by garnering greater worker participation. A safer workplace and improved company culture of safety will make you glad you did.