Yes, Accidents Happen. But Employees Can Help Prevent Them.

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Regarding workplace safety, most company-provided training focuses on proper equipment operation, safe lifting techniques, wearing needed personal protective equipment (PPE), and other task-oriented points. While these are undeniably critical areas to cover, they don’t discuss the need for employees to take action if they see something unsafe. As a result, there’s a dangerous blind spot that can increase the odds of accidents.

By including training on how employees should act if they notice unsafe behavior or situations – regardless of whether it impacts them personally – workers can help prevent accidents. If you want to ensure your safety program addresses this need, here’s what it needs to include:

Clear Support and Commitment from Management

Generally, employees are far more likely to take safety seriously if management is openly committed to it. It’s a situation where leading by example is essential, as a cavalier approach to security from company leaders leads workers to assume it isn’t as vital as they’ve been told.

Appropriate Points of Contact and Reporting Options

If you want employees to speak up if they see a hazard or unsafe action, they need a set mechanism for reporting issues. This should include designated contact points on the floor, letting them know who to turn to for urgent needs. A reporting portal or hotline is also beneficial for workers needing to remain anonymous.

Unsafe Condition Reporting Training

Broadening your safety training to include instruction on unsafe condition reporting is essential. Even if you implement the appropriate portals or hotlines, informing workers of their existence and explaining how to navigate them is critical. Otherwise, employees may not know their availability or how to submit a report correctly.

Similarly, informing them of their primary contact points – including who they are and how to reach them quickly – is essential. Again, this ensures there isn’t any confusion about what to do when safety issues are identified.

Continuous Awareness

Safety training annually isn’t enough to keep employees safety-conscious. Instead, continuous awareness needs regular reminders, increasing the odds that workers remain vigilant.

One easy way to incorporate safety into daily conversations is to discuss relevant issues at the beginning of daily standup meetings. That’s also an excellent time for managers to discuss recent safety successes, such as accident-free milestones or how a worker’s actions eliminated a hazard.

Accident-Free Workplace Incentives

With an accident-free workplace incentive, you reward employees for doing their part to maintain a safe work environment. Along with increasing personal compliance with safety requirements, it gives them a definitive reason to take action when they witness something unsafe.

It’s common for companies to assume that protecting their coworkers provides enough of an intrinsic reward to keep employees engaged in workplace safety. The issue is that the concept can feel ambiguous or nebulous, as workers won’t know if their actions make a difference. With an accident-free workplace incentive program, the benefits are highly-defined, increasing engagement.

Ultimately, incorporating everything above into your safety program allows employees to help keep their workplace safe. If you’d like to learn more or want to hire safety-conscious professionals, UCP can help. Contact us today.