When it comes to workplace safety, how protected do your employees really feel? According to a recent report from AlertMedia, a threat intelligence and emergency communication provider, 71% of employees don’t think their employers are following through on safety promises. Additionally, 65% believe their employers are not actively trying to improve safety training.
Workplace safety is more important than ever for many employees, particularly given the current state of the world. With the uptick in severe weather, mass shootings and civil unrest, it’s not surprising that nearly half (49%) of today’s workforce believes that the world is more dangerous today than it was a few years ago.
“Employees everywhere have experienced multiple crises over the past few years that have altered their view of the world and their perceptions of safety outside of the comfort of their homes,” Christopher Kenessey, CEO at AlertMedia, said. “These events impact how employees show up to work daily, and we’re seeing a growing desire among workers for employers to implement a more integrated and hands-on approach to ensuring their safety, regardless of whether they’re working in the office, from home, in the field, or while traveling for business.”
Here are a few ways to help your employees feel safer.
Tip #1: Improve Communication
Many employees agree that improving communications about workplace hazards and emergency protocol is the best way for companies to prove that they prioritize safety. Your organization should create and regularly review safety policies with employees and make sure they understand the policies. Additionally, you can post safety reminders in prominent locations throughout the workplace. These reminders can remind employees of the importance of following safety protocols and alert them to potential hazards.
If safety training is not an integral part of your orientation process, then it’s time to reevaluate your hiring program. When a new employee enters the workplace, your organization should ensure they receive proper safety training and are capable of handling all physical elements of their position. After their initial safety training, it’s important to provide ongoing training and education to employees as they continue to develop within the organization. This will help them ensure they understand the importance of following safety rules.
Management also plays a crucial role in communicating best practices to their teams. If a manager feels that a situation isn’t safe, they should be vocal and take measures to prevent an accident – even if it means stopping the work to pull their teammates aside to explain what elements are dangerous and how to fix them. It’s also a good idea for them to incorporate safety into performance reviews to ensure that safety is a priority for employees.
Tip #2: Initiate Improvement Plans
It’s a smart idea for organizations to consistently evaluate their workplace safety program and implement improvement plans to address potential blind spots. Create a safety committee that is responsible for overseeing and implementing safety initiatives. The committee should include representatives from all levels of the organization and should meet regularly to review and discuss safety issues. The committee should also be responsible for developing and implementing a safety culture and promoting the importance of safety throughout the organization.
Your safety committee will want to monitor and assess safety performance on an ongoing basis to ensure that safety practices are being followed and safety goals are being met. Additionally, regularly audit and inspect the workplace for potential safety hazards and take corrective action when necessary.
If an accident occurs in the workplace, it will be good to have your Accident Review Board analyze the aftermath of the incident and put a plan in place to prevent this from occurring again.
Tip #3: Ask Employees for Feedback
We recommend having your employees fill out anonymous safety perception surveys, which measure an organization’s culture of safety. The surveys will ask employees their opinion about various aspects of the safety program. We prefer agree/disagree responses instead of strongly agree, agree, neutral, etc., as it makes the employee commit to a true answer.
These surveys identify the “gaps” in perception and provide insight into areas for potential improvement. When administering a safety perception survey, you should report results back to employees to prevent cynicism and skepticism and specifically identify what the organization plans to do to address areas of concern.
Do You Need to Reevaluate Your Workplace Safety Plan?
The Horton Group is available to help you develop a plan from scratch or reevaluate the one you currently have. Reach out to a member of Horton Safety Consultants here to schedule a consultation.
Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.