Workplace safety is of paramount importance across all industries. Whether your employees go about their day to day work in an industrial setting, on a remote job site, or in a common office building, safety should be at the top of their minds and yours. Here are a few processes that will turn that priority into results and improve your overall workplace safety.
Problem-solving is always at the top of a leader’s core set of skills, but when it comes to workplace safety, it’s problem identification that can make the difference between safe and hazardous workplaces. Without being able to concisely identify a safety problem, the solution is rarely able to make a difference overall. Once you pin that source issue down and communicate the problem to your team in a simple and actionable way, that’s when you’ll see real results in creating a better place to work.
Finding the Probable Cause
Identifying a problem is the first step toward solving it, but when it comes to safety rarely are things as straightforward as they might seem. It’s important to dig deeper into a safety hazard and do everything you can to find the root of the issue. Ask yourself what is the real issue at stake. Is it the lack of proper equipment? Perhaps a lack of education? Or is it a general failure of workplace culture that is creating your safety problems? These are all common workplace failures that ultimately result in riskier work environments. Solve for the cause and multiple safety risks will become a non-point.
Take a Wide Sample
As a leader within your company, you have an excellent view of the mission and core values of your business. You have unique insight into the direction and restrictions that drive the actions of the whole company. But keep in mind that you see things from only one perspective, and when it comes to safety – every perspective counts. Be sure to solicit feedback from all parties affected by safety concerns. Weave those perspectives into your problem solving and communication style to increase buy-in from all corners of the workforce, and to provide stronger solutions in the long run. The last thing you want to happen is an accident on the job that was a result of needless lack of information or consensus. This is a common, but not unconquerable challenge for many companies investing in improvements in workplace safety.
Effective Change Management
Safety policies and procedures often seem like a burden that employees (and even leadership) must go through the motions with and check all the boxes to make sure everyone is in line with regulations. This is even more of a challenge when new safety measures are put in place or further training is required. Don’t allow the mundane nature of the policies and training material draw attention from the importance of the mission. Educate the whole team on why there are changes. Set goals and give rewards for following plans and reducing injuries. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Make sure they’re all on board.
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