Safety is a top priority in light industrial fields such as warehousing and logistics. Despite this, however, workplace injuries and fatalities are climbing—lack of safety costs businesses in a thousand ways. Injured workers cause productivity losses and can cause higher premiums.
The good news is that workplace injuries are preventable with a strong safety culture. Businesses need to take proactive steps to ensure their employees are part of a team, ensuring safety. Even if managers walk the floor to identify safety compliance and concerns, workers are the front lines both to ensure compliance and identify any emerging concerns.
But how can employers make employees feel comfortable talking to them about safety concerns? How can they create a proper system of reporting issues? Read on for three tips.
Instill a safety culture from the beginning
Management needs to instill a “safety is the top priority” message from the first minute an employee is hired. Provide thorough training on safe practices, with experienced workers as mentors and guides.
If employees need safety equipment or personal protective equipment (PPE), make sure it is on hand and assigned as standard garb from the beginning. Train on how to put it on and how to wear it – don’t assume that it will be obvious.
Make the reporting system clear.
A strong safety culture needs clear reporting paths. Workers need to know, for example, who they direct safety questions to during the day. Managers should also establish a method for proactive worker safety suggestions, such as a suggestion box.
Finally, make sure a clear reporting line exists so workers who see instances of improper safety compliance know how to report it and to whom it should be reported. Don’t rely on them reporting these issues without a strong and clear method of doing so.
Think about what your workplace needs in terms of daily questions, suggestions, and reporting. A team safety captain works well in some instances. In others, media messages such as posters and online forms work well.
Repeat and enact safety messages steadily.
Managers who want safe workplaces need to follow one key principle: repeat, repeat, repeat. Safety messages should be repeated on posters in general areas like break rooms. Workplaces should be posted with signs of safety as well.
Frequent safety drills and check-ups should occur. Workplaces should be monitored steadily to make sure that workers are following safety protocols.
In the event that protocols are violated, enact a zero-tolerance policy. Terminating employees is never easy, but if it needs to be done to enforce the message, don’t hesitate.
Need help hiring?
At Expert Staffing, we are proud to provide the most comprehensive recruitment strategies in the industry. To find out how to use our services to connect with top-level candidates in your industry, contact a consultant today.