To ignore employee morale and to ignore employee engagement is to ignore two of the fundamental ways you can improve and involve workers in your safety program, says Jack Diener, Safety Coordinator at Stock Manufacturing & Design.
His assertion is that employee morale, employee engagement, and safety are all highly interconnected, and they can all improve one another.
As Safety Coordinator at Stock Manufacturing & Design, Jack Diener is a strategic, passionate, empathetic, and proactive safety leader. An iReportSource customer, Stock Manufacturing & Design offers technologically advanced manufacturing services across a variety of applications.
Our conversation with Jack focused on how he helps support a strong culture of safety at Stock Manufacturing & Design. Continue reading to see 6 key ways they leverage a safety app to improve safety.
1. Practice regular risk assessments
Comprehensive risk assessments are a regular activity at Stock Manufacturing & Design, and they now use iReportSource to streamline and improve that process.
They see regular risk assessments as a fundamental way to continually combat complacency, too.
“We do risk assessments on a regular basis. It comes down to understanding and reacting to hazards. In reacting to it, it plays an obvious part in minimizing and eliminating risks and in reducing claims and costs. That’s what’s on the surface and is easy to calculate,” explains Jack.
What may be more difficult to calculate, he explains, is just as important, if not more important—which is overall employee morale and employee engagement in the safety efforts. “What we’ve found in trying to build a solid safety culture, and the values and behaviors that align with that, is when workers see what is being done in terms of safety, they can be more involved. And when workers are a part of reducing and/or eliminating risks, it makes them really a part of safety. It becomes the fabric of what we’re trying to achieve in terms of their involvement and engagement,” says Jack.
2. Share safety metrics and learnings with workers
Jack also says the organization readily shares what’s going on with safety with workers. He wants them to know what’s going on with safety and what improvements are being made so they can be fully bought-in and as involved and engaged as possible.
“When workers are truly incorporated into safety throughout the process, or even see that something’s happening with it, it eases them a bit knowing that, somebody’s looking out for me,” explains Jack.
Just a few of the metrics they commonly share from iReportSource can include data on everything from fire hazards to ergonomic hazards to poor lighting hazards; machine guarding; PPE; slips, trips and/or fails; hearing and noise; and many other safety observation data points.
3. Encourage a culture of “safety ownership”
As described, Jack emphasizes just how much the organization encourages workers to be fully involved in safety efforts.
One example was how Jack saw one worker in particular with model ergonomics as he works. Since the organization is focusing on helping workers to improve their ergonomics, they’re now using this particular model employee to help teach others how they can improve their ergonomics.
This individual is doing on-site training and he’s even making videos to help teach others in the company how to improve their ergonomics while they work. “He will sit down with me, and we can watch some of these videos that have been made, and we will see ways that individuals can adjust their ergonomics while they work. He’s very good at identifying the good, the bad, and the ugly, and it’s great accountability for all of us as we look to improve our ergonomics, together.”
4. Give workers a way to speak up
One of the signs of a healthy safety culture is when workers feel safe speaking up for one another, or when they feel safe reporting a potential hazard.
“We have a very good culture in terms of looking out for each other. We want to help each other stay aware of our surroundings,” says Jack. That’s just one additional way the company is able to combat complacency, too, Jack says.
5. Keep safety training relevant and fresh
Jack puts a focus on trying to keep safety training as fresh as possible, another proactive step they take to try to work against safety complacency. Sometimes that includes bringing in someone outside the company which can help keep things engaging.
He’s also pushing for more content to be made digital, so that people can access it at a time that’s best for them. “With the help of iReportSource and the tablets we’re using, this really is getting woven into the fabric of our corporation. And we’re just scratching the surface at this point.”
6. Make sure tools give authority and accountability
“If there is a risk that is assessed, it’s the workers on-site who are managing that. It’s the workers there who are assessing the hazard or finding the problem,” explains Jack when talking about how employees are empowered with the right tools to support their safety efforts.
Jack says he sees what happens and he oversees the process, but he trusts and empowers workers to own that part of the process. “They know what’s going on much better than I do, so we empower them to handle it as much as possible.”
Using iReportSource helps the company simplify safety on a daily basis. It helps them find areas they can improve, too. Workers now have the tools, in their hands, to easily record safety issues, assign follow ups, and safety progress can be automatically tracked.
Risk assessments and behavior observation can happen digitally with iReportSource, and they take only minutes to complete. Plus, any data that’s added can drive safety insights that can help the organization prevent future incidents and injuries. “We’re excited about the ability to evolve and use iReportSource to modernize how we are managing safety,” adds Jack.