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Accountability in Workplace Safety and Its Benefits

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on February 3, 2020 at 10:42 AM

Keeping the workplace safe is a major endeavor, and one that can prove to be a real uphill battle if employees aren’t on board with the idea. Creating a culture of accountability in workplace safety is one of the best ways to get your workers all on the same page.

Here’s what you can do to reap the benefits of a staff that has accountability squarely in mind.

Encouraging Safety-Centric Mindsets

You won’t be able to encourage safety accountability among your employees unless you take a bottom-up approach.

Foundational change comes from individual experiences, and it’s these experiences that change individual outlooks. This, in turn, motivates results-oriented actions. In this case, those actions include being more mindful of safety standards and adhering to them more closely.

This means you need to do more than just enact more stringent safety policies and expect your workers to abide by them. You need to send positive, clear messages to workers about the benefits of better safety by showing how workers who think about safety and act on those thoughts help prevent incidents at work that could have had dire ramifications. This provides workers with a clear and positive message about why new safety policies should be considered important and positive changes.

Set Expectations and Reward Good Behavior

You need to be clear on the safety expectations you have for your employees. These expectations have to be framed and measured in a straightforward manner, but they also have to be obtainable; impossibly high safety guidelines are only going to frustrate and disengage workers, leading to the opposite effect of making your employees feel less accountable instead of more.

Providing rewards for good behavior is another excellent method for driving accountability. Incentivizing safety by showing how engaged workers will be positively acknowledged for that engagement is the kind of positive reinforcement that pays off, both in praised employees and those who want to earn that praise as well.

Making Accountability in Workplace Safety Part of Company Culture

Promoting a safe working environment is not an easy task. At the same time, it’s one that can’t be ignored if you want to maximize productivity. This makes it crucial to integrate accountability in workplace safety into your company safety culture on as many levels as possible if you want your organization to thrive.

This can be accomplished by adhering strongly to the above recommendations of encouraging safety-conscious mindsets through positive storytelling, setting challenging but realistic and achievable safety expectations, and using positive reinforcement to reward workers who act with accountability.

All of these activities and approaches will help to shape your organizational and safety culture into one that shows how workplace safety, accountability, and productivity all go hand-in-hand to pave the way for a successful business.

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, Safety Management, Safety Culture

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