Worksites must be safe at all times. While laws, health safety officers, and PPE exist to enforce these measures, it is still a group-wide effort to maintain these high standards across a company.
If you’re in any leadership position on your worksite, it’s essential to realise the level of responsibility you’re accountable for. There are many things you can do that contribute toward building a culture of safety on your premises. You should try to implement as many of them as possible to better everyone in your business.
Remember what’s at stake here. Not only is the well-being of your workers important, but should they come under harm it can lead to fines, lawsuits, and even business closure. There’s no room for second chances in such situations, so everybody needs to take these matters incredibly seriously.
Here are some tips to help you build a culture of safety on a worksite.
Know the Hazards
Your aptitude for safety won’t resonate if everything is vague and abstract. Therefore, it might be that your worksite personnel need something of a reality check on occasion.
It’s always a good idea to re-familiarise yourself with the potential risks of working on a site today. Working at heights, trip hazards, and noise pollution call take their toll on a person. While you might be aware of dangers, a basic understanding of them is not enough. If you’re a responsible leader, they should scare you and motivate you to safeguard your employees however possible daily.
Keep your employees informed too. Report your findings to them. It may be worth investigating recent occurrences of these incidents and referring to them in any worksite debriefs. Up to date information may resonate and be passed around more, thereby offering a steeper learning curve for all.
Revisit your training materials, too, even if they’re basic. It may be worth consulting a new course provider so that you have the best learning materials possible at your disposal.
Be an Example
Leaders often set the tone of workplace culture. If your subordinates witness you not taking safety seriously, some of them may mimic your behaviour.
Try to lead by example. Use tools responsibly and navigate the worksite sensibly. Have a tall and confident posture. Be seen openly maintaining standards and complying with health and safety legislation wherever possible. Maintain a proactive attitude. Don’t hesitate to punish those being irresponsible. Make it clear that employee well-being is your number one priority, and inspire loyalty through that approach.
Your attire may help with your influence too. For instance, you would wear quality rigger boots that highlight your dedication to safety. It might seem like a small thing, but even subtle measures can be powerful. These boots offer the ultimate protection yet are easy to slip on, and can be used by men and women in any industry in a stylish yet protective fashion. Other PPE will make a difference too.
Encourage Open Communication
If employees identify a hazard in a worksite, big or small, they must immediately raise the alarm. If they hesitate for any reason, it could make a crucial difference in the well-being of your workers.
You need to get your workers chatting and opening up. Even expressing mild concerns is worthwhile. If everybody on your worksite performs their roles in isolation or is fearful of coming to you and critiquing their work environment, then things can soon fall apart after that.
Even being approachable in smaller ways can be worthwhile. Try to be more outgoing, if necessary, and build meaningful bonds with your staff. Facilitate these relationships amongst the workforce too. Subsequently, they may all care deeply about one another’s safety and make an extra effort to maintain a safe worksite.
Share your vision of safety on the worksite. Rousing speeches or well-structured emails should be able to bring clarity to the situation and let employees know what’s at stake. Let them know your door is always open and that you welcome criticism and questions on these matters too. Give workers recognition for their efforts.
Being Open to Adaptation
Worksite safety can seem like a regimented thing. However, some degree of flexibility may also be required, and you and your staff should be open to it.
For instance, many workplaces had to adapt their processes due to the coronavirus, employing people remotely or implementing social distancing measures. You must make your business open to these types of adjustments, too, whether you’re dealing with a pandemic or not. This stresses just how important safety is in that it even usurps your daily operations and your firm’s performance.
All of the previous points mentioned so far can become relevant in these situations. Make sure staff know the likelihood of these measures being incurred in certain conditions. Be open to evolving your approach to work to encourage others to do the same, and keep communication channels open. After that, the disruption from these circumstances should hopefully be minimal.