“The best cure is prevention.”
That statement, most often used in relation to personal health, is simple but profound. It can find application well beyond medical scenarios. When it comes to Workplace Safety, prevention is also the cure to hazardous working conditions, absenteeism, worker’s compensation claims, lawsuits and profit loss. But is the concept easier said than done?
Just as it is with bodily health, participation in prevention plays the biggest role in determining success. When it comes to health, we have endless information. We know which foods to eat to give us energy and avoid disease, we are aware that exercise must be included, we strive for lower stress levels and we understand that extra preventative measures, like daily stretching, chiropractic care, massage therapy and a healthy spiritual life, all contribute to giving us the best chance at better health. Even armed with extensive knowledge, our nature often keeps us from implementing these positive lifestyle choices. It is usually only when we experience a health crisis that we make a real and lasting change.
The same is true for Workplace Safety. Companies and employees are looking for easy solutions or boxes they can check off with little to no effort. Do you make excuses that the time or money it takes to pursue safety initiatives outweighs the potential benefits? You can convince yourself that this one time you overlook a safety concern won’t be a big deal, except the one-time compromise is added to every other one-time compromise. Pretty soon, whether it's your personal health or a worksite accident, you will end up in a fatal situation that could have been easily avoided.
Make Changes Internally?
Checking a box is so much easier to do, but at Workplace Safety Screenings we encourage our clients to build a company culture focused on worker safety. That starts with worker buy-in. Sure, we can help you set up a system of protocols, but if the protocols are not followed you are no more protected than you are with no safety plan at all. Include your employees in the process and make it fun, as well as educational.
Workers Won’t Do What They Can’t Understand
One of the reasons companies fail to get worker buy-in, is that the program (and the management) feels disconnected from a worker’s perspective. They don’t understand what they are supposed to be doing, much less why they are doing it. Every worksite safety plan starts with training and should consider input directly from the workers themselves. This allows them to understand that management values their input and experience. They will also understand what they are doing and why, because the safety solutions are solving problems they expressed during the process.
Workers Reject Rules for Rules Sake
Does your safety plan include arbitrary rules that do not benefit the worker, increase safety or make sense? When workers are asked to participate in rules that suit the whims of management, but don’t make much logical sense, workers will lose trust in the leadership. Workers might ignore or discard other protocols that are legitimately safety-minded and backed by data, putting themselves and your business in danger.
Say Bye-Bye to Bad Rules
Just like with confusing or meaningless rules, workers become frustrated when good intentions go bad. Management may implement certain policies hoping to solve a particular problem, only to make the issue worse or unintentionally create a secondary problem. Monitor and adapt your safety plan to shed policies and procedures that aren’t working. This will demonstrate to your employees that you are committed to safety, not just the appearance of it.
Workplace Safety Screenings is your partner in creating and implementing effective worksite safety plans that benefit you and your employees. We can evaluate your unique business and build a plan scaled to the needs of your organization. Avoid common workplace hazards and bad hires, as you build a team of hard working, safety-minded employees for company-wide commitment to safety and prevention. Together, and with a fool-proof safety plan, your business will stay in optimal health for years to come.