Is “safety” just another word in your company? Use these five tips to get your employees involved

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 02 Dec. 2014

Tags: health and safety, employees and health and safety, employee health and safety, health and safety programmes

All too often health and safety ends up just being a manager’s problem. Employees don’t seem interested and they just do as you tell them.

While this might seem ideal, it’s actually anything but. You see, your employees have the knowledge you need to improve your health and safety.

If your employees have no interest in health and safety, you lose out on valuable information. Your health and safety programme could end up lacking some essential elements because of this.

Rather get your employees involved and improve your health and safety programme using these five tips…

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Five tips that will help you get your employees involved in health and safety 

1. Give your employees the  knowledge, control and support they need to take charge of health and safety
Employees need health and safety knowledge to understand the risks that put them in danger at work. This training is an essential part of health and safety.
Giving your employees the ability to make changes to your system gives them authority. This will motivate them to actively take part in health and safety. Just remember to put clear guidelines in place for this.
Finally, support your employees’ ideas and suggestions. This makes employees feel they truly can make a difference when it comes to health and safety.
2. Give employees who want a more active role in health and safety the necessary training
If employees want to take ownership of the safety process, they need the right training. It’s a mistake to expect employees to be enthusiastic about health and safety when they always have to do as management says. Giving employees ownership is the best way to motivate them to be involved in health and safety.
3. Hold a monthly health and safety forum 
Have one day a month where any employee can raise any health and safety problems for discussion. This gives them a place to raise issues freely and without fear. If management supports each item and quickly finds solutions, it encourages employees to speak up about problems. 
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4. Protect employees who raise health and safety issues 
Never target employees who raise health and safety issues. Protect them from any unfair punishments from their manager as well. If employees raise these issues, it can help you improve your system. So don’t view it as a threat, view it as an opportunity to improve. 
5. Get workers involved in making decisions about safety 
Ask employees for their input into safety procedures, choosing PPE and other decisions. Because these decisions affect their safety, employees will feel motivated to stay involved through this process.
Ask employees to select a team of colleagues who will work closely with management on decisions like this. 
Get top management in your company to guide this team in such decision making. But remember they mustn’t direct it. Management can only overrule a team decision if they need a good reason.
Employee involvement in health and safety has a lot to do with giving them responsibility, support and information. 
If your employees feel like their contributions matter, they’re more likely to stay involved. And that means you can benefit by improving your health and safety programme.
Remember, effective training is an important part of getting employees involve. Check out the Health and Safety Training Manual for everything you need to know to do this.  

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