Ask any safety leader about a key indicator of a safety program’s success and they’ll tell you employee participation and involvement.
Participation in a safety program goes well beyond inviting employees to be a part of a safety and health committee, though. Yes, that’s important to help facilitate the right, desired behaviors, but true involvement—true engagement—has to be every day.
Keep reading to see 7 key ways to keep your workers involved and engaged in your “everyday” safety culture:
1. Clearly Defining Roles and Responsibilities
If you want to get people involved in safety, you want them to be responsible—and you want them to take pride in that personal and shared responsibility in safety.
But to give them that responsibility and ownership, you ought to get clear on what their role and responsibility is within the organization. It may seem simple and clear to management, but specific roles and responsibilities as they relate to safety may not always be clear to each and every worker. From the moment someone joins the team, you want safety-related responsibilities to be a part of the conversation.
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2. Safety Walk-Arounds
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Periodic safety walk-arounds are one of the top ways you can ensure hazards and risks are identified, and then resolved. Safety walk-arounds aren’t just about what’s wrong or what’s missing, though, because they also give you an opportunity to see what’s being done correctly.
If you’re doing a walk-around yourself, be sure you tap the knowledge of the workers you’re interacting with. It’s not about blaming or finding fault when you speak with them, it’s about information-seeking so everyone can benefit and so that hazards and be eliminated.
You can also get workers involved by empowering them to conduct the safety walk-around. That gives them the accountability and the authority—two key ingredients—to take ownership of safety.
3. Speaking Up About Risks or Hazards
One of the most effective, consistent ways to get people engaged in safety is empowering them to have a voice. In other words, do you give employees a reliable way to speak up and share if they see risks or hazards?
All in all, if you want to foster a culture of “see something, say something” you have to encourage team members to speak up, and you also need to give them a tool or reliable way to make supervisors aware of unsafe conditions, as well as behavioral observations they’re seeing, too. One part of the picture is giving them a means to share these hazards and risks, and then the second part is being sure to listen and act on what’s shared with you.
4. Reporting Incidents
Understandably, giving people a voice (that’s listened to!) is one of the most effective ways you can show your people you care about them, and that you want them involved in improving health and safety.
Equipping workers to share risks and hazards is one thing, but encouraging them to report incidents is another. Make sure employees feel they can take ownership of a situation when it occurs and that they have the tools to report an incident in a timely manner. This reduces lag time and helps document critical pieces of information for the investigation to follow. It also reduces lost productivity, operational downtime, potential costs, and it keeps employees as safe as possible.
5. Deciding Key Metrics
When safety data is used the right way, it helps motivate a team towards an objective, it reinforces the things that are being done right, and it helps people see how their actions are directly and indirectly benefiting the culture and organization as a whole.
Get employees engaged on an individual level by involving them in the process of deciding key metrics you’ll be watching and monitoring when it comes to safety. These metrics may evolve or change over time, but team members will learn a great deal by being involved as much as possible in this process.
When it’s a fit, make your metrics a part of your incentive program or KPIs for the employees, and help them understand the big picture that they can absolutely help by being a safety advocate for themselves and their coworkers.
6. …And Sharing Progress on those Metrics
Getting aligned on the metrics and data you will be sharing is the start. But don’t forget to keep people as informed as possible once you start measuring activities, behaviors, and outcomes. One of the simplest, but most rewarding things about adopting a safety technology is that you’re not only able to easily track all this data, but you’re able to share the data with workers so they stay up to date with safety, too. People want to know about the progress that’s being made, and that’s why you need to share it.
Training is a key part of developing any worker, and it’s also important as a part of your organization’s need to continuously improve. Training also presents another way to keep workers involved.
Keep content fresh, highly relevant, mix up for the format of your training, and ask workers what topics or areas they would want to learn more about. Incorporating focus areas they mention can be a great way to keep them engaged with the content.
iReportSource safety training system keeps you on track and reminded of EVERY employee’s training requirements and deadlines. It also shows the time spent on each training, on each document, and you can even run reports to proactively recognize the training sessions that are about to expire. That means they get relevant content to keep them engaged, and you get to stay on top of every last detail in terms of training.
Keep Your Employees Involved In Your Safety Culture
iReportSource safety management software makes all of these areas easy to implement, plus you can define objectives and “success” in your own way.
If someone sees something that should be reported, for example, with iReportSource she has the tool—in their hands—to do just that. From safety walks to guided incident and claim reporting to analytics/safety KPIs, iReportSource equips workers with the tools to report (and then act on) observations, hazards, risks, near-misses, and incidents from anywhere, at any time.
All in all, most high caliber team members crave being involved in safety, and iReportSource gives them a way to be involved and be informed, no matter their shift and no matter their job site. Learn more about how iReportSource can equip and empower your employees today.