June was safety awareness month, but safety should be a focus year-round. Safety awareness is the habit of thinking about the possibility that someone can get hurt or property can get damaged before a task is started. It is the proactive practice of protection. Employers and employees need to recognize hazards and be willing to take action to control or eliminate those hazards. Employee buy-in is the driving force behind practiced safety protocols. If employees are not sold on a safety policy, there is a high chance it will not be followed. Employers need to take action to promote safety awareness in their workplace. There are several unique ways to promote safety awareness in your workplace that can increase the likelihood of compliance and decrease the likelihood of injury or accident.
Why is Safety Awareness important?
Safety awareness is the first step in implementing a successful safety program. While putting policies in place is crucial, it is not enough to ensure employee buy-in. Employers need to ensure that safety policies are at the forefront of employees’ minds while working. Promoting safety awareness shows your employees that you and the rest of the management care about their wellbeing.
Additionally, safety awareness can decreases the likelihood of injuries on the job. Employees should not only be knowledgeable about safety protocols, but they should actually be following safety procedures.
Six Ways to Promote Workplace Safety Awareness
1. Have Markings and Signage
Clear markings and signage on equipment, walkways, storage areas, and more are among the most important tactics for promoting safety awareness. For example, signs can be used to instruct employees on how to use equipment properly. Additionally, floor and wall markings can show employees where certain items or equipment should be stored. Clear markings and signage are a subconscious reminder to employees of safety protocol and expectations.
2. Create Posters that Display Safety Policies
Posters and banners are probably one of the first things you think about when it comes to promoting safety awareness. Posters can be a great way to remind employees of important safety protocols. You should only put up posters relevant to your operations and employees. To increase employee attention to posters, try moving them or changing them every week or so.
3. Have Regular Safety Talks
Safety should be a part of regular discussions in the workplace. Safety discussions are an important way to set clear expectations for safety. There are many ways to do this, from having a daily pre-shift safety meeting to doing quarterly safety presentations. Find something that fits your company’s industry and work.
4. Provide Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regularly
Having to put on safety gear before performing a task heightens the level and awareness of safety in the workplace. Providing the appropriate PPE is also an effective way to improve compliance.
5. Involve Employees in the Development and Implementation of Safety Protocol
Involving employees in the process of developing a safety program is a great way to increase safety awareness. They are the people on the front lines of the job, and they may be able to point out problem areas much easier than someone looking from the outside in. Employees are also more likely to follow safety regulations that they had some part in creating.
6. Use Creative Tactics to Introduce Safety Measures
Introducing safety protocols in a typical presentation style can get boring and repetitive for employers and employees. Create a safety scavenger hunt where employees are split up into teams and have to read clues to piece together a safety policy. Additionally, try hosting a workplace safety trivia session with prizes for the employees that answer questions correctly.
Promoting safety awareness can be a very taxing and overwhelming activity, but it is crucial for maintaining and improving the safety of your workplace. Try one tip at a time to make it easier.
Occupational Health for Your Workplace
One way to create a safety protocol is to have your occupational health provider come to your workplace and determine what safety protocols need to be in place. Work Health Solutions offers occupational care to various industries and companies. Start promoting safety awareness in your workplace today and see improvements in employee safety!
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