How to motivate employees to follow workplace safety rules

In 2017, more than five thousand workers died on the job. This is about 99 people a week or 14 deaths a day. With this alarming rate, you would expect workers to be more enthusiastic in implementing safety measures at work. Workers are generally aware of the importance of safety rules, but they lack the motivation to follow through. If your organization is in this position, these tips will get your employees motivated where safety rules are a concern.

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  1. Have a common goal

Some managers make employees feel scolded when notifying them of the safety measures. Scolding creates a communication gap and makes workers view safety as an essential factor to the employer and not to them. Instead of ordering employees, it’s best to ask them to comply. When asking someone to put on their helmet, you should show them that you genuinely care about them, which will, in turn, push them to comply.

  1. Create training

Schooled professionals already have proper safety training, but the majority of manual workers don’t. It’s vital to create workplace safety resources such as training, books, leaflets, among others to bring everyone’s skills up to par. Research has shown that menial jobs such as postman work reported more severe injuries than others because they generally require little training. This is precisely why training and safety resources should be made available to all workers.

  1. Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement refers to consequences that lead to repeat or increase in certain behaviors. To use this properly, leaders should never ignore safety mishaps, even when they are minor. They should combine safety monitoring with creating a learning-supportive environment that fosters employee satisfaction. This combination is a straight path to increased safety procedures.

  1. Make employees own the safety rules

Naturally, people feel motivated to follow through when they feel that they are part of the program. Allow your employees to play a role in safety programs, and they will own them. Start by giving your workers an avenue to provide feedback and implement the actionable suggestions they make. Also, remind staff that their commitment to safety rules makes a difference to themselves, their co-workers, and the company. Instead of traditional incentives, allow workers to sit and contribute to safety problem-solving committees.

  1. Ease the pressure

Usually, employees get injured while putting efficiency first. While this is not a bad thing, efficiency and safety should be synonymous. One cannot go without the other. Working under pressure contributes to human errors that lead to severe injuries and fatal accidents. Sacrificing work safety for efficiency not only puts pressure on the employee but negates a negative message that your company cares more about production than it does its employees. When you ease the tension, employees start to think of efficiency and safety as synonymous.

Achieving workplace safety is not hard. It will need effort and a little bit of time, but approaching workers as equals and helping them own safety rules will hasten the process.