Creating a Strong Safety Culture
One of the hardest things to do regarding safety is creating an environment where the workers aren't just filling out paperwork and wearing safety equipment because they are told to. It's about creating a culture where they understand why they are using it and more importantly want to use it.
Having seen both sides of the coin on this subject, in the field as a worker and as a safety person, I wanted to give tips on how to strengthen your safety culture. These are based on my experiences and my industry.
Simplicity is key, overcomplicating safety will result in a shut down of your employees, the brick wall will be thrown up. Construction workers want to work, that's what they do. They take pride in work completed and goals reached. In order to make workers safe while they do their work relies on making it easy and smart enough so that it doesn't hinder their performance but enhances it. That is what the SafetyTek software is aiming to do. With our software we are aiming to engage workers, create a stronger safety culture amongst your workers by making the safety process as easy as possible and engaging for them and everyone using the software.
A big part of safety culture is to engage the workers. Safety is not popular amongst most workers because they feel like they are told what to do all the time, instead of being part of it. If all they ever associate safety with is someone showing up and saying this is wrong, that is wrong and that you are telling them how to do their job. I always admitted when I was in safety that I have no idea how they do their job and I wasn't going to pretend I did, but I can make sure that they are doing it safely. I worked with them and asked them questions about how they can do a task safely, it will help in opening up the communication between us. This way workers are involved in decision making and give them a feeling of importance, all while breaking up the sometimes monotonous daily tasks.
Lastly, comes down to attitude. I hear all the time about how safe people are (insert insult here). Over and over that comes up. Yes, there are great safety people out there but it does seem like the overall view shows different. It doesn't need to be like that, yes safety is important, bad things can happen very quickly and points need to be made. Fair enough, however, think about if you found a way to get safety culture through to your workers and they believed in it, how much of an impact that would have on your safety going forward?. Workers would fill out paperwork properly, they would call you to ask questions before proceeding at a task they feel may have some safety issues about and maybe they would take the time to go get their safety gear all on their own.
I'm hoping, looking forward, that with a little different outlook safety professionals and workers can all have a new and fresh look at starting or strengthening their companies' safety culture.