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Seven steps to promote safety amongst employees in your workplace

by , 25 June 2015
A question that pops up alot on the Health and Safety Club is 'How can I get buy-in from my employees to work safely?'

Safe workplaces don't just happen overnight. It takes dedication from your employees to build a workplace culture that embraces safe practices.

Promoting workplace safety helps your employees keep their well-being a top priority. And I've done some research to help you promote a culture of safety in seven easy steps...

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The seven steps to promote safety amongst your employees

Step 1: Remind employees that safety isn't just about machine use
Remind your employees that workplace safety is about more than preventing falls and machine injuries. Some workers may tune out the message if they feel it doesn't apply to their work duties. Give a Toolbox Talk on workplace violence and Aids prevention.  Another option is to invite guest speakers to discuss different methods for staying safe in the workplace. For example, fire chiefs, police officers and health department officials.

Step 2: Designate a safety team
Appoint a safety team to monitor the workplace for accidents and safety violation. Include Managers and proactive employees. Encourage everyone to monitor each other for unsafe machine handling and not wearing their PPE. Ask them to report these issues with recommendations for how to correct them.

Step 3: Post safety bulletins
These must be in high visibility areas. For example, in your tea room, change room, reception area and factory. Facilities are perfect places to display safety messages, where you don't have to spend money on an announcement board. Choose bright, eye-catching posters to spark discussions.

Step 4: Host an annual 'Safety Day'
Make safety training a compulsory annual event. This shows your commitment to providing a safe work environment. Discuss positive and negative safety trends in your workplace. Go over safety policies in the employee handbook. Include new information from OHS and COID. Make sure employees do a test on what you discuss, and give the high scorers a prize!

Continue reading for three more steps…
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Three more steps to promote workplace safety

Step 5: Choose a workplace safety awareness week
Choose a week as workplace safety awareness week. Devote each day to a different safety issue so you don't bore your employees. Schedule activities like fire drills and hand-washing demonstrations. Develop exciting safety-themed trivia contests, relay races and evacuations. Making an annual company safety song is another way to promote unity and safe working conditions!

Step 6: Give incentives when workers remain safe
Honour departments with low incidents of accidents and most improved safety records. Set up challenges to encourage your employees to keep safety as top of mind awareness. An example is providing an extra vacation day to all workers if employees can go 100 days without an accident.

Step 7: Encourage workers to report safety violations
Encourage workers to report safety violations. They must report issues like broken door locks, faulty wiring and broken steps. Set up an anonymous box in the tea room. Follow up on all reports, even when you won't be able to fix some problems straight away. If you don't, your company will lose respect!

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