Safety is highly important in workplaces. Without appropriate safety standards and protocols, workers can be injured. Safety is just as important to companies as it is to workers, as we all want safe workplaces.
Nonetheless, sometimes it can be difficult to bring up safety concerns. Your boss may seem busy or distracted. How should employees begin a conversation on safety? Here are three important things to keep in mind.
Approach the situation in a positive way.
Always approach the conversation in a positive way. Don’t accuse your boss or company of ignoring violations of safety protocols or creating an unsafe space for you. Make sure it’s about your desire to make the workplace better.
If someone is not following safety protocols or leaving tools or materials out in a way that creates obstacles, don’t make the issue personal. Rather than saying, “Don leaves the saws out, and it’s dangerous to other people at the work station,” focus on “people need the training to remember to place their tools in the proper place.”
Assemble your facts.
Bosses need the facts to address a safety issue. If you see safety concerns, such as dangerous situations or evidence that your colleagues don’t have the right equipment, make a note of it. If you see repeated instances, make a note of that!
Choose a time and place to discuss your concerns with your boss. Bosses who are busy or in the middle of something else may not be able to respond as you would wish. Pick a time that they are walking the floor or in the office with no urgent business.
Strategize a solution if possible.
Come to your boss with a solution if at all possible. Most bosses will be far more receptive to a solution than hearing about a problem. Frame it as “this is how we can do things better.”
In some instances, it may not be possible for an employee to come up with a solution. In that case, frame the issue as a problem that needs a solution – perhaps one you and your boss (or the team) can work on together.
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