Creating a safe workplace takes more than a handout at your staff meeting. Employers need to work with their supervisors to show and practice ongoing commitment.
- Train, train, train.
Invest the time up front on job-specific safety training. Your workers should know what can hurt them, and how to avoid it. Of course, they also need to know emergency procedures.
- Talk about your policy and your program in plain language.
Say things like “If you see something dangerous, tell me about it.” or “Any time you feel unsafe, make sure you tell me, no matter what. Your safety comes first.”
- Make safety a part of service.
Young workers often feel the need to impress, and with work and time pressures they’ll sometimes take short cuts, like chopping food too quickly, moving too many grocery carts or climbing shelving instead of using a ladder. Good service includes time for safety. Doing otherwise means injuries for workers and costs for employers.
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System training is mandatory for jobs involving chemicals and other hazardous materials.
- Have a buddy system.
Pair young workers with experienced workers. This can help them feel comfortable asking questions.
- Make safety a priority yourself.
To a generation raised on TV and music videos, what they see matters as much as what they hear. So set the example, wear your hardhat, buckle up in the company truck, talk about safety at every meeting. Little things matter.
Remember, keeping your people safe at work is your job. So start the conversation about workplace safety.