Career Woman

Workplace safety: 5 Ways to ensure staff are invested in it


This guide outlines strategies that you can use to engage employees in following and promoting workplace safety.

A safe work environment is a happier and less stressful place to be as an employee and a leader. No company wants to have to deal with injuries in the workplace, and they will show you this through their health and safety policies and procedures. Keeping employees safe will reduce the risk of losing valuable workers and will avoid legal costs.

Team engagement in workplace safety

Many businesses believe that they are doing all they can to keep their workplace, but putting the rules in place is just the first step. The step that counts is getting people to listen and follow those rules. If you are a leader or manager, there here are 5 ways to emphasize workplace safety.

Set people’s workplace safety goals

Setting goals and ensuring that they are visible to your teammates will show that you are confident as a leader. This confidence will make employees take you and the safety procedures more seriously, as they will be able to see that you know what you are talking about and what risks they are subjected to. Also, achieving these goals will put them in a position of feeling accomplished and will show you that they are paying attention to what you are telling them, which is good feedback for you.

Engage your team

Engaging your team is a highly effective way of emphasizing anything in the workplace, including safety procedures. Keeping your workforce engaged does require effort, but this will pay off. Every month (at least), you should make time for safety meetings and keep your employees up to date on the latest news in regards to safety precautions. This is the best way to engage your team and gives you an opportunity to complete a number of vital elements of a solid safety culture.

Hand out praise for workplace safety

Praising your employees for following health and safety guidelines is a strong motivator. Achieving a goal is one thing, but if it is not recognized, then your workforce won’t continue to comply. Handing out praise to employees that have achieved their goals and shown a good attitude should be done during your safety meetings. Showing this recognition in front of a group, preferably with applause and words from management, will magnify the praise and will push others to follow their lead.

Be a motivator

As a leader, you need to be good at motivating your team. This will encourage them to listen to you, follow your rules, and work safely and efficiently. In order to be a motivator, you should model motivation in your own behavior and build self-esteem. One of the main reasons people work hard is the payoffs they expect at the end. Praise and recognition are primary payoffs, but to truly motivate your team, you should consider rewarding them with prizes when they accomplish a goal.

Show your appreciation of workplace safety

Handing out praise and rewards to your team is all well and good, but showing your appreciation is often overlooked and can make a real difference. One of the main reasons people choose to leave their jobs is because they don’t feel like they are appreciated enough. Safety will provide a chance for you to show how much you appreciate them as an employee, in a significant area that is important for the safety of every teammate and the finances of the company.

Communication via group meetings is a key component to emphasizing workplace safety as a leader. Setting a firm foundation does not get you much credit – seeing results is what counts. Being a leader is not always easy, but with the right attitude and motivation, your teammates’ actions will reflect your efforts.

The employer’s workplace safety obligations

The employer must ensure that the worker’s health is monitored according to the risks to which he is potentially exposed in the workplace. The employer must continuously and permanently ensure that the activity is carried out in conditions of safety and health for the worker, taking into account the following general principles of prevention.

  • Avoid risks;
  • Plan prevention as a coherent system that integrates technical evolution, work organization, working conditions, social relations and the influence of environmental factors;
  • Identification of foreseeable risks in all activities of the company, establishment or service, in the design or construction of facilities, places and work processes, as well as in the selection of equipment, substances and products, with a view to their elimination or, when this is impracticable, to the reduction of its effects;
  • Integration of the assessment of risks to the safety and health of the worker in the set of activities of the company, establishment or service, adopting the appropriate protection measures;
  • Combating risks at source, in order to eliminate or reduce exposure and increase levels of protection;
  • Ensure, in the workplace, that exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents and psychosocial risk factors do not pose a risk to the safety and health of the worker;
  • Adaptation of work to man, especially with regard to the design of workstations, the choice of work equipment and work and production methods, with a view to, inter alia, alleviating monotonous work and repetitive work and reducing risks psychosocial;
  • Adaptation to the state of evolution of the technique, as well as to new forms of work organization;
  • Replacement of what is dangerous with what is safe or less dangerous;
  • Prioritization of collective protection measures over individual protection measures;
  • Preparation and dissemination of understandable and appropriate instructions for the activity performed by the worker.

The employee’s workplace safety obligations

  • Comply with the safety, hygiene and health at work requirements established in the legal provisions and collective labor regulation instruments, as well as the instructions determined for this purpose by the employer;
  • Ensure their safety and health, as well as the safety and health of other people who may be affected by their actions or omissions at work, especially when exercising leadership or coordination functions, in relation to the services under their hierarchical framework and technician;
  • Use correctly and in accordance with the instructions given by the employer, machinery, apparatus, instruments, dangerous substances and other equipment and means made available to them, namely collective and individual protection equipment, as well as complying with established work procedures;
  • Actively cooperate to improve the safety and health system at work, becoming aware of the information provided by the employer and attending appointments and examinations determined by the occupational physician;
  • Immediately report to the hierarchical superior or, if this is not possible, to the worker designated to perform specific functions in the fields of safety and health at the workplace of the malfunctions and deficiencies detected by them that are likely to cause serious and imminent danger, thus as any defect found in the protection systems;
  • In case of serious and imminent danger, adopt the measures and instructions previously established for such a situation, without prejudice to the duty to contact, as soon as possible, the hierarchical superior or workers who perform specific functions in the areas of safety and health at the site of work.

About Joniel Suezo'

Joniel Suezo is an outreach specialist at Smashdigital, and hardworking mother of two – keen to get ahead and see other women do the same.

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