With June being National Safety Month, it’s important to make sure your employees’ overall health and well-being are a top priority all year.
An unsafe workforce can cost a crippling amount in the form of worker’s compensation, sick time and turnover.
According to the survey, 58 percent of American construction workers surveyed feel that safety takes a backseat to productivity in their workplace.
Meanwhile, 51 percent of respondents indicated that they believe management only does the minimum to keep workers safe.
Perhaps the most discouraging finding is the 47 percent of workers surveyed who said they’re afraid to report safety issues.
These troubling statistics show a significant gap between what employees think their employers care about and what employer priorities should be.
Here are three things to focus on during National Safety Month:
1) Safety Programs Start with Employees
Getting employees engaged in safety programs and company-wide initiatives is the easiest way to ensure success.
Since employees are the targets of the safety program, make sure that they want to participate, are given an avenue to do so, and an opportunity to give feedback.
Allowing employees to directly improve the program gives your workforce an opportunity to have ownership over their own safety.
Employee engagement in National Safety Month will help to close this gap this year.
2) Drive Safety Through Empowerment
Empowering employees to be peer leaders and work with management within their company is a gateway for concise communication to remain constant. This type of communication also allows for leadership to groom the next generation of managers from the existing employee population.
While safety monitoring can have a stigma associated with it, using peer leadership as a path to promotion provides an opportunity for the workforce and managers to work together for both groups’ benefit. This type of camaraderie helps to close gaps between employee and employer interests and perceived priorities.
3) Focus on Employee Recognition
Rewarding employees both individually and in groups for safe behavior is critical to the reinforcement of any active safety program.
Whether you choose to reward a whole team for a certain number of incident-free days or recognize individuals for reporting an unsafe situation, make sure employees know how much safety is valued at your company.
Using small rewards like gift cards for on-the-spot recognition is a great way to keep the program spontaneous.
Allowing employees to take their family to dinner or curb some household cost through the company creates a long-lasting memory about how that employee was treated. These types of teachable, rewardable moments create a culture of learning, loyalty and safety at all levels.
No matter what stage your employee program is in, National Safety Month is a great time for improving your company’s culture of caring for and about employees moving forward.
Originally published on 6/8/17
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