We know that safety professionals reduce accidents. A well developed and implemented safety program also improves culture, quality and communication. Moreover, an investment in safety will have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.
Developing a sustainable safety culture requires consistent effort.
Here are some ideas to positively reinforce safe behaviors
- Managers who promote safety and wellbeing show that their employees are valued. People who feel supported are more likely to stay focused.
- Encourage people to look beyond safety rules and procedures. How do factors like rushing, fatigue, frustration and complacency result in forgetting or ignoring safety protocols?
- Supervisors lead by example when they point out issues as they are occurring and encourage their team to watch out for each other.
- Well run toolbox talks promote employee engagement and provide an opportunity to proactively discuss safety issues. Productive toolbox talks share some common attributes.
- They are engaging and brief.
- The topic is specific to the site and relevant to the work the people attended are doing.
- Bad habits have a negative impact on safety. On the other hand, people are just as likely to rely on good habits as they are to rely on bad ones. They key to moving toward any sustained improvement in safety is to build better habits.
- Routine tasks like safety inspections are also an effective way to build good habits that strengthen safety culture.
- Positive safety habits extend beyond the workplace. Workers change their habits when they understand that the benefits of safe behavior extend beyond the workplace. The result is a mindset that prompts people to be mindful and alert wherever they are.
- Stress is a part of many workplaces when people feel rush or frustrated. For this reason, we need to appreciate that stress makes people prone to complacency and making mistakes because the focus is not on what they are doing. When you understand the human factors that contribute to stress, it can be better managed.
Change does not happen overnight. Above all, Wombat Software wants to want to hear your ideas on how we can help safety professionals implement these ideas to positively reinforce safe behaviors.