Safety culture starts with the employer

By 05/05/2017Safety
Safety culture
One of the greatest challenges in any business today is creating a safe work culture. Safety practices must become part of the everyday and implemented continuously in the workplace. Employers have a critical role in ensuring that employees are practicing safe work techniques every day.

A safe culture can only start with the employer. As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to provide a safe work environment to anyone that works in your business. Workers Compensation claims caused by employees who do not follow safety in the workplace can be costly to the employer and impact your business for years to come.

How do you start changing the culture of your employees in the workplace?

1. Inductions: At the very start of a new employees’ role they should participate in an induction process that includes safety in the workplace. As an employer, you must not only provide them with information on how to use tools or work safely in the workplace but you must demonstrate this in the workplace through short training sessions. Safe work method statements (safe operating procedures) or Material Safety Data sheets need to be read and signed by the employee to show they understand what is expected. Having the employee show you how they implement these statements in the workplace could save you thousands in Workers Compensation premium increases and a painful accident.

2. Toolbox talks: Talk with your team daily (or have an appointed Manager conduct these sessions) through a Toolbox talk. Make it part of their working day that they speak about safety in these short sessions (no more than 10 minutes). Choose a safety item of the week/month that employees are to focus on. Use visual guides such as calendars, guides and videos to assist in understanding the focused item.

3. Safe work employee committees: Create a safe work employee committee elected by employees who will work with you the employer to create a safer worker environment. It is their responsibility to identify hazards in the workplace and report them at each meeting. Working with the committee you will improve your workplace together bringing a sense of ownership and acceptance to your employees. Create a top 5 cardinal rules for all to follow in the workplace. These can include no drugs or alcohol, always wear your Personal Protective Equipment PPE and not modifying or changing equipment settings.  It is just as important that employees should always be praised and thanked for any hazards that they identify.

Having your team incorporate safety in their everyday will see everyone working in a safer environment will little to no injuries. Flexiforce can help you get your workforce safe with our trained team. Contact Peta Skaines to discuss further.