The experts say employee engagement is the (not so) secret element in a successful safety program. So how about some fresh new ideas for making it happen? We’ve got them here.
Dustin Rusch, chief safety officer for mechanical contractor J.F. Ahern Co., says these steps can help turn your entire workforce into a safety improvement team. The key he says, is creating a “shared belief” through statements like this: “Every employee can make an impact through their words, actions, and decision.” Rusch says shared beliefs can energize a common cause that employees can rally around.
In addition, Rusch recommends the following tips:
- Align your safety goals with your organization’s ideology and vision. Employees need to see that safety is a strategic business objective.
- Establish a new definition of safety. It’s not so much about the absence of injuries, but more about the barriers, defenses, and actions you’re taking to prevent incidents. Focus metrics on the everyday actions that lead to safe outcomes.
- Brand your safety efforts around the promises you make. Employees want to believe in something; make that something the safety improvement effort.
- Invest in and use technology to improve reporting. The right technology solution can bring efficiency to safety. It also provides a platform for sharing experiences and lessons learned.
- Look for good safety habits and share them. Identify and promote behaviors that start a positive “chain reaction” as they move through the organization.