Communicating safety messages needs to be communicated consistently and continually. It is something that needs to involve all interested stakeholders. Taking the following steps can ensure the workplace remains safe for all employees, and provide a consistent response once an injury occurs.
Five Suggested Ways to Communicate Safety Messages
A safe workplace starts with an employer dedicated to safety. There are countless opportunities to communicate safety messages and promote a safe work environment. It starts with a commitment by all interested stakeholders to be involved in the process and not putting profit ahead of safety.
- Employee Safety Meetings (for all shifts): Taking this step reinforces the message that safety is important in the workplace. Anyone from the president to mailroom clerk can talk about safety and promote a better work environment, but it is important for those who are perceived as leaders to do the talking – job titles do not matter. These leaders should also practice what they preach to ensure follow-through.
- Posters and Bulletins: This can go beyond posters required by law. Keeping safety reminders visible and in conspicuous places around the workplace reinforces important safety reminders. Dedicated employers can also have posters produced in different languages if any employee does not commonly use English as a primary language. Graphics can also reinforce the message of a safe workplace.
- Newsletters: Every company newsletter should include a blurb about safety. It can highlight changes suggested by an employee on how the workplace became safer. It can also update employees on changes to protocols and procedures. Other common highlights can include information on how to report a work injury and where to receive medical care and treatment.
- Safety Suggestion Box: People are sometimes afraid to make suggestions on how to improve workplace safety. Anonymous suggestion boxes can provide people the ability to make suggestions. It is important to follow-up and highlights how these suggestions improved a defective condition and how remediation was made.
- “Toolbox” safety talks conducted informally by supervisors with their employees: Safety should be emphasized every workday. Supervisor and managers can play an important role in explaining to their direct reports on how work injuries impact company and program efficiency. Do not be afraid to go beyond the basics when it comes to safety.
Other Requirements: Beyond the Basics of Workplace Safety
Training records must be kept that refer to federal and state regulations related to workplace safety. It is important to offer safety training in languages that match the workplace demographics.
Employers should also consider the implementation of a Safety Recognition Program. Before developing a Safety Recognition Program, consider the following:
- You cannot “buy” safety, but you can expect safe behavior and recognize employees who deliver.
- Concentrate on results (i.e., fewer injuries) AND on behaviors (i.e., use of personal protective equipment, safety inspection scores).
- Establish clear, measurable goals for both results and behaviors.
- Employees should know that there will be serious consequences for not reporting accidents.
- Awards should have true value and be more than just cash (something tangible to remind the employee why they won the award and presented by senior management during an employee celebration (pizza party, for example).
- Senior management must completely support the Safety Recognition Program and be visible in the process.
- Consider rewarding individuals for safe behaviors and groups for safety results.
Now is the time to communicate safety messages and promote safety in your workplace. This requires all parties to be fully engaged, and leadership in management to follow through on their commitments. This includes effective communication and engaging employees on all aspects of a safe work environment.
Author Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%. He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is the founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center.
Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: https://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/
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