As an employer in an industry that could be considered risky, you want to hire employees who are as diligent about safety precautions as you are. Consider your staff as your first line of defense. Train them to keep an eye out for potential safety issues so they can be addressed before becoming dangerous problems. By paying attention to details and training your employees efficiently, you can ensure that your staff will know safety procedures like the back of their hands.
Training is an ongoing procedure that must adapt to changing work conditions and present new scenarios to your employees. Don’t just consider this a chance to review current safety policies as a refresher. Challenge your staff to bring their ideas to the table. Create example safety problems and ask your employees how they would handle different situations. This will help you discover what needs to be reviewed and may spark new safety policy ideas. Keep in mind that while under stress, some personnel may feel unprepared in certain situations. By having them voice how they would handle a particular scenario, you’re getting them to actively participate and consciously think of how they would address a dangerous situation.
If your staff is working in an area where external risks are a factor, ensure that you are training them in taking the necessary precautions. Employees should understand what needs to be done in order to work efficiently while activity is going on around the worksite. In construction, for example, you must be sure that personnel can secure the work zone to prevent pedestrian accidents or automobile traffic. If you are dealing with curious onlookers, which can be distracting, encourage your staff to look at privacy as a safety precaution to follow as well.
One of the best ways to get employees to become safety experts is to give them a hands-on role in safety policies. Involve them in workplace inspections so they can learn firsthand why a specific safety procedure is in place. Have them observe safety procedures to understand what a proper technique looks like and identify where problems may arise. Encourage them to talk with their coworkers about their findings to see what they’ve learned and answer any questions they may have. Ask your staff if there is a certain safety procedure in which they would like to be involved or a policy in which they aren’t entirely confident. By initiating this discussion, you’re gaining insight into what your employees’ strengths and weaknesses are in terms of safety policies.
When it comes to workplace safety, it’s always better to take pre-emptive measures rather than address concerns when they develop into serious problems. By properly training your staff and applying these principles rather than reading through a rulebook, you will give your employees the opportunity to become safety experts.
Emily Culclasure is a writer for National Temporary Fencing Brisbane. She can be reached on Twitter @eculclasure.