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Building Safety for your Workplace

Updated on January 6, 2018
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Pat is a CRSP with many years experience working in safety in both the manufacturing and oil field

Vision for Safety

This will help bring your crews into alignment to a safer workplace through visualization and a vision board that will promote it. Have people at safety meetings and safety stand downs bring pictures and words that are important for why they choose to be safe at work. Why do they work safe? It is all about buying into their emotions and building a team that all believes in the same steps.

Leading for Success in Safety

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Vision board to success

Get several poster boards and all your employee names.From each employee get a picture of what reason they work safely and get them to attach it to one of your poster boards. (You may need several if you have a large group of people and should do it by area so these can be posted where they will see it every day).

Getting buy in to your safety and what it will get for you

Once you start getting buy in to your safety program it will get other employees to support your efforts and build on it as you go. The outcome of this will be a huge cost savings for your employer. This year alone I have saved my employer over 10 grand in WCB costs. Now who would not like that?

Why do people buy in?

People buy into our programs because we create emotional reasons which is better than the carrot and the stick approach to training. Transformational training is the way to go and it will reap huge rewards in happier, safer employees and lower costs to the employer.

Why we create buy in?

After talking to a number of other Safety Advisors/Managers I find they are very frustrated in how to move forward to a safer workplace. People that work for their employer keep making the same errors creating injuries, vehicle damage and other small issues in the workplace. These are the things that we must stop happening but how?

People buy into programs and things that meet or attach to emotional needs when we are not around. As often we have large crews we can't watch them all the time. Creating vision boards that all employees see every day is what creates this on a daily basis for our employees.If we can create a way for people to be emotionally connected to our program we will succeed.

Skipping The small Things

The small things usually starting with maintenance costs, if you can stop them or limit them, then you have a chance of changing things and getting them to stop. Small things like skipping small steps in following work practices or procedures, not updating these or having conversations with the people that do the job are ways to create issues. Each and every person if they are addressed and dealt with personally will have more buy in to following the reasons for the program and create a safer work site. Get them to think about why wearing their safety glasses are important to their eyes, What would it be like to be blind? Ask them how they would feel to be blind?

What About Training?

Do you have a set program or are you using employees to train new ones? Employees that have been around for a long time have become complacent in their jobs. These complacency habits will create shortcuts that they often now train the new person with. This new employee will now take shortcuts on those shortcuts usually and this is where you will create an accident or incident. Do you use only one employee to train? What about using two or three as they may see issues that are missed by the first person.

Inspections?

Also what type of inspections are happening and who monitors they are actually happening. When maintenance costs are on the rise, it usually means these vehicle and other inspections are not taking place appropriately. Who is tired and does not want to do the task?

We all know that all those shortcuts and inspection issues lead to an incident/accident. We also know it is a flip of the coin whether this is a big or a small issue for the company. How closely do we follow the small stuff and how do we create buy in from the bosses.

Buy in From the Bosses

Look at the stats especially here in Canada, where more and more supervision is getting jail time. Get them to understand that due diligence is important and it can create huge cost factors to each of them individually as well as their business. Ask them to truly think about losing their home, their time with their families, and the huge costs they are paying for insurance to WCB, vehicle insurance and all other costs including maintenance by not following these things. How are they going to personally feel if they have a driver that they know has driven impaired numerous times and they continue to bury their head in the sand because they "need" him to drive. What happens if he kills a child, or perhaps even their family member who is going to get groceries or learning to drive? Get them to buy in to that thought emotionally.

Following, Tracking and Managing

It is by following, tracking and managing these small things that we can create a healthier and safer environment. We need to as managers and advisors walk the walk and talk the talk. How safe are we and are we leading by example? A good example of this is that we all were required to do pre-checks on the company vehicles. I was working for an employer at a shutdown. I checked the vehicle we were given to operate every day prior to starting my shift. Not one other of my colleagues did the same thing. Two things came out of this, one was there was an accident and damage done to the vehicle that I caught prior to using it due to this check. The second thing was more interesting, the very last day I was being taken to talk to a supervisor about deficiency I had found. I was spoken to by a woman, she told me she wanted to know who I was as she had watched me every day doing a check on the vehicle and she wanted to put an atta boy in for me. I had no idea I was being observed but it showed me a valuable lesson about living and doing what I believe.

So start with your vision board, keep 2018 in mind as your safest and most productive year as a Safety professional. It is only when we invest in beliefs and put them out there and actively support them that we reach success.

Inspiration

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