An engaged workforce is key, and nowhere is this truer than with safety. Staff who don’t care about workplace safety can end up hurting profits as well as themselves. The problem is that workplace safety is far too often considered uninteresting and, in some cases, unimportant. This attitude is detrimental to the health of both your business and your staff, so how can you turn it around? Well, here are five ways…
Remind People Why Workplace Safety is Absolutely Vital
Before you can even begin to get your staff engaged in workplace safety, you may have to convince some stubborn employees that it’s even worthwhile. This is easily done, of course, through reminding them of the facts.
Since the creation of HSE, workplace fatalities have dropped by 86 per cent. Whatever way you spin it, that is an enormous figure, and it’s hard to argue that workplaces were better off before HSE. Workplace safety is a necessary element of business. Without it, people get injured and, in some cases, people die.
You don’t need to force-feed your employees any of this information of course. However, a gentle reminder of why we have HSE legislation, at the start of a safety talk or training, could go a long way.
Treat Workplace Safety Like You Would Treat Any Other Area of Business
Safe businesses are more profitable than unsafe ones. Once you truly begin to appreciate that fact, your attitude towards workplace safety will change. Do you give your employees bonuses for reaching their sales targets? Perhaps you should incentivise them to be safe as well. Are innovative employees given heaps of praise? Perhaps you should compliment your safe employees in a similar fashion. Do you spend money on making your workplace look nicer? Perhaps you should also spend money on making it safer.
Invest Workplace Safety Inspections
As well as being a legal requirement for many businesses, safety inspections are a great way for both you and your employees to come face to face with somebody whose entire career revolves around workplace safety. People who are good at their job tend to be very passionate about it. So if you make sure that your safety inspections are from the best possible people, then both you and your employees will be exposed to the best possible outlook on workplace safety.
Interaction with safety experts has a very real affect on businesses. In HSE’s 2014/2015 report, 58 per cent of those surveyed claimed their perception of HSE had changed for the better as a result of a safety inspection. This is compared to just two per cent who claimed their perception had changed for the worse as a result of a safety inspection. In other words, exposure to people who believe in the importance of workplace safety can help to improve people’s attitude towards workplace safety. Enthusiasm can be a very contagious thing in business, and workplace safety is a perfect example of this.
Invest in Workplace Safety Training
Training is a great way for businesses to motivate their staff. Employees feel like you are investing in them, and that’s exactly what you are doing. As business legend Richard Branson puts it, “train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Well-trained employees are more confident and more engaged in your business. However, safety training is particularly beneficial for small businesses because it does all of this while simultaneously making your workplace a safer environment.
Be Passionate About Workplace Safety Yourself!
It’s one thing to tell your employers that workplace safety is important, but if you don’t truly believe what you’re saying then your words sound hollow. Lead by example and take actions above and beyond what you’d expect of your employees.
This is especially important for new staff members. As they look to more experienced staff for advice, what will they see? If they see you, you want it to be the best possible example of safety. After all, the behaviour and attitude of a workplace has a strong impact on safety, which is why HSE are running courses that are specifically designed to tackle the behaviour that leads to a dangerous workplace.
Show your employees that safety comes before speed, that a job done properly is better than a job done quickly, and they will respond by echoing that attitude throughout the company.
Author Bio Justin O’Sullivan is a writer and the owner of Storage Equipment Experts. His business provides racking training and inspections in accordance with HSE legislation.