Safety in the workplace is often an afterthought or thought of as a burden to getting real work done. Having a couple of warning signs is not always sufficient or is considered a safe workplace for employees or anyone.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,190 people died while working on their job, which makes more than 14 people per day. Most of these deaths were preventable if employers have taken the necessary steps to implement control measures to eradicate such issues from their workplaces.
Employees are the most important and valuable asset of any workplace, business, or organization. Being an employer, it is your legal and moral duty to take whatever steps possible to protect the safety and health of your staff.
However, this duty does not always fall on the management, employees also play a key role in creating a safe and secure workplace to work for everyone.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) explains that:
“The safety and health culture within a workplace is the result of separate or group values, action, observations, capabilities, and performances that determine commitment to health and safety management policies for organizations”.
What is a Safety Culture and Why it is Important?
The concept of safety culture looks beyond specific safety policies and programs but captures the mindset and behaviors toward the safety of all company employees, managers, and owners.
Safety culture within the work environment is highly influenced by the existing safety and health policies within the company and how these policies are implemented within the workplace or organization.
Characteristics of a Positive Culture
It is often easier to identify a company that has a negative safety culture than the one that has a positive culture.
While creating a positive safety awareness culture may seem to be daunting, once the investment is made to establish a safety culture, the benefits are everlasting for the companies and businesses.
Organizations with effective safety culture may experience:
- Increased employee productivity
- High employee engagement
- Lower staff turnover rate
- Lower rate of accidents, injuries, and ill-health
Therefore, organizations with strong safety culture share several characteristics:
- Employers and business owners value their employees’ safety
- Managers are committed to integrating and improving the work environment for the betterment of their staff
- Employees feel empowered to take actions
- Investments are made in safety procedures, information, and employee training
Effective Ways to Build a Safety Culture
Below in this article are explained some of the effective tips to create a safe culture within the workplace or organization:
One of the major and most effective ways to create a safety culture at work is through proper communication and commitment to the safety policies and with the staff members.
Both of these are the key aspects of creating and maintaining a safe workplace for everyone to work in.
Employers can incorporate different methods and ways in their environments to create a positive work environment. One way is by conducting weekly and monthly safety talks with the employees.
It will help boost employees’ productivity and enhances their self-confidence to work safely which in turn can build a positive business reputation.
Lead by Example
Leading by example is also another effective way that helps both employers and their staff create a positive work culture. If employers are actively taking part in safety activities and following the safety and health regulations, their employees are encouraged to do the same as well.
Create & Implement Positive Reporting Process
Developing a positive association with reporting health and safety concerns is vital to improving the organization’s overall safety culture. Reward employees who report safety concerns and hazards to their employers. It will be much easier to create a safe and secure work culture when employees actively take part to mitigate workplace hazards.
Adequate Training & Guidance
Along with other tips and ways, providing adequate information, guidance, and training to the staff is essential to building a strong and safe work culture. There are various health and safety courses that employers can go with to train their staff, however, some of the effective ones are first aid training, working at height training, IOSH managing safely course, slips, trips and falls training, manual handling training, and more.
Worker involvement in the daily safety operations to meet legal safety standards is also a key step in creating, maintaining, and managing a safe workplace. If employees are not actively taking part to reduce workplace hazards, the company or organization can fail to comply with safety legislation.
On contrary, employees actively involved in the process help build a strong business reputation within the industry.
Creating a safe workplace is the need of the hour for every business or organization to meet the legal and moral safety standards. This blog post explains some of the effective tips that can help employers and their staff create and maintain a positive and safe work culture.
Interesting Related Article: “Workplace Safety: Tips for Keeping Your Employees Safe While at Work“