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Posts Tagged ‘safety culture’

creating a culture of safety at the workplace

April 10th, 2010

Every business organization, whatever the size, must show a commitment to safety at the workplace. Businesses observe safety standards not only to comply with statutory requirements, but also because it is the most logical thing that a management can do. Accidents cost money and destroy employee morale. Creating a culture of safety is the best way human resources managers can prevent costly accidents and injuries.

Observing safety standards builds employee confidence in the work culture and improves the efficiency of the organization. Legal safety requirements vary according to the industry and the processes involved in the work. However, every business can enhance safety at the work place by creating a culture of safety.

Start right at the interview stage
Make sure to incorporate safety oriented questions at the time of the interview. This serves a dual purpose: you are able to make your organization’s stand on safety clear to the candidate and you can assess the importance of focus on safety in the workplace.

Promote a safety oriented culture
Safety is not the responsibility of one single department. Every employee has to be equally involved in observing and promoting safety standards and procedures. The culture has to be handed from the top to the bottom of the organization. Everybody is responsible for maintaining and enhancing safety.

Hold Regular Safety Training
Do not hesitate to hold safety training sessions regularly. Every employee right from the top management to the bottom level should attend these training sessions. In fact, the presence of the top management at such training sessions goes a long way in emphasizing the importance of safety aspects at the workplace.

Maintain the Equipment
Sustain the annual maintenance contracts of all the equipment and the machinery: Make sure that all equipment and machinery maintenance checks are properly recorded. You should maintain a list of agencies to be contacted in case of any emergency or equipment breakdown in more than one place. Ensure that the responsible agencies do come for regular maintenance.

Discourage Risky Behavior
Do not encourage the staff to take risks. Ensure you have fatigue management policies to ensure employees involved in physical work or high risk jobs are well rested and able to work. Discourage the staff members from doing multiple shifts, or working overtime without an adequate break. Employees need to be mentally and physically active to handle work and any exigency.

If you discover employees engaging in risky or unsafe behavior, institute formal warning procedures to reinforce the importance of maintaining a safe work environment all of the time.

Conduct Safety Audits and Mock Drills
Make safety audits a regular feature at your workplace. Mock drills are a necessary exercise and give an insight to the employees what exactly to do in case of emergencies. Conduct trainings and mock drills with respect to different kinds of emergencies.

Safety affects everyone in the workplace and therefore the entire staff should be involved in maintaining safety processes. Employees must see the value of observing safety standards and the safety standards should be enforced for all, including management. You need to educate and train your staff to deal with any situation that can arise at your workplace to reduce the risk of injuries and accidents.