Safety starts with employees. Frontline workers can operate like a safety spy network, deployed throughout your facility, looking for possible hazards and reporting them before they become real problems.
Run-of-the-mill operations take employees through most parts of your facility on a day-to-day basis. They are in a great position to find potentially dangerous situations early.
Give employees the training to spot danger areas and provide them with a structure to get those problems fixed quickly and efficiently. By doing so, you’ll be able to resolve burgeoning safety situations early, before they become a true hazard … and well before they become a legal or regulatory headache.
You’ll also end up saving money. Catching potentially dangerous situations early represents the cheapest way to eliminate problems. Fixing a crack takes less cash than replacing a pillar.
But how do you go about empowering employees? It’s a great goal, but without a detailed action plan it represents little more than hollow business-speak mantra.
Here are four steps you can take to make your employees more aware of safety:
Make the process of spotting safety hazards a priority early in a worker’s tenure. From the moment, they’re hired, ensure new employees know what to look for and what to do if they spot a problem.
This may involve a longer training process, but it will pay dividends with a safer, more efficient workplace.
Encourage People to Report Problems
Some companies have a don’t-ask-don’t-tell culture when it comes to small safety issues. Employees don’t feel comfortable bringing up problems, for fear it will reflect badly on them or somehow inconvenience their work schedule.
Avoid this culture. Actively encourage employees to report problems. Consider setting up an incentive program, offering small rewards for workers who spot safety issues.
Don’t stop with the initial training. Constantly remind your employees what to look for and how to report it.
You can do this through informal reminders – a daily safety minute, for instance. Or you can set up regular retraining sessions to keep everyone on the same page.
Safety standards change. Procedures get updated. New equipment comes in. Points of emphasis evolve.
Once an employee has been on the payroll for a while, the specifics of the company’s safety procedures may have changed since they had their extensive post-hire training sessions. Set up an ongoing education program to bring these veterans back up to speed.
This will ensure that every employee – no matter how long it’s been since they received their initial training – looks out for the same hazards and follows the same protocol.
A safe workplace is an efficient workplace. By bringing in intelligent, observant employees, you can turn much of the safety oversight over to your workers. Partnering with a top staffing firm, like SmartTalent, ensures your ability to find these first-rate workers. Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.