Properly implemented workplace safety is something that both the employer and the employees benefit from. In practice, it is quite hard to motivate the workforce to follow the intricate safety procedures. They are usually fully aware of their importance, but they lack the motivation to follow through.
Here are some of the suggestions given by Fortress Fencing to employers on how to make employees act in accordance with safety procedures.
The worst thing an employer can do is to start fining the workers on the spot. This measure will almost certainly backfire. It instantly demotivates the person punished and creates hostility inside the team, actually increasing the possibility of a work-related accident. A much wiser solution is to reward those workers who adhere to the majority of the rules. This way, you will set an example for others to follow. Their reward might be as simple as the word “thank you”, or it can be an incentive tangible on their next paycheck.
A common goal
Some managers are untactful and make the staff feel as if they are being scolded, rather than simply notifying them of the safety regulations. Workers should not be reproached as school children since that creates a communication gap. They have to feel that the issue is of great importance to the employer and that they are not being ordered but asked to comply. In a nutshell, the person whom you ask to put their helmet on, for example, must feel that you truly care about following their safety procedure. This way, they are more likely to cooperate as they will realise that you want to work towards a common goal with them.
Ownership of safety procedures
Instead of forcing the employees to do something, sometimes it is better to let them regulate the area themselves. Workers should have a voice when making the regulations in the first place. They are more likely to stick to the rules if they themselves or their colleagues suggest them.
Just as a conscientious worker can be a good role model, examples can also be set by technical innovations. Instead of forbidding the employees to enter a certain room or sector of the company, the doors could be locked. However, sometimes restricting access is not possible or it is ineffective. In those circumstances, you have to protect the workers against their will, as crazy as that might sound. On building sites, steel edge protection barriers can be bolted down, thus minimising the risk of anyone falling from a height.
Relieve the pressure
Working under pressure largely contributes to mistakes that can result in injuries and even fatalities. Employers make the mistakes of putting efficiency at number one on the list of their priorities, sacrificing workplace safety in the process. This conveys a negative message to the workers who more than often blatantly disregard safety regulations in favour of productivity. The solution is to equate the importance of efficiency and safety. By promoting these values as equal, workers will in time start to think of them as inseparable and will relate to both in the same manner. The employer will benefit as well since a zero-injury policy will definitely result in higher productivity.
Training for all
Those who are schooled professionals have probably had proper safety training. However, employers tend to overlook the fact that those in menial jobs are less likely to be fully aware of all the safety procedures. According to one research, postal workers report more severe work-related injuries than other professions. This is partly because jobs such a courier or a postman require little training and workers often leave their respective companies, only to be replaced by others. Safety training gets sidetracked in the process and employees go to work unaware of all the work hazards. This is precisely why it is vital that every single worker receives proper training and courses in workplace safety.
The mindset needed to follow safety regulation is not that hard to achieve. Workers should be approached as equals and they should be made aware that you as the employer have both high productivity and safety expectation from the employees. If at first, they become lenient about work safety, then those protection barriers are not such a bad idea. After all, you have to start from somewhere.