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In the end, workplace health and safety often boil down to the actions of employees. If they don’t perform their job in a safe manner, accidents are bound to happen. But safety always begins at the higher levels of a company, which means managers and supervisors play a big role in preparing employees to follow safety rules and act in a safe manner.
What can a supervisor do to instill safety consciousness in employees? Actually, there’s a lot that supervisors can do to have a positive impact on workplace safety.
One of the primary goals for a supervisor is to make sure employees know about both the company’s safety rules and what they need to do in order to remain compliant with OSHA regulations. When it comes to safety rules, the explanation is almost as important as the rule itself. If employees understand why they have to follow certain rules, they will be more likely to go along with them and follow safety rules. In other words, supervisors need to make employees understand the importance of compliance and what it means to the company. Once they recognize why compliance is necessary, they will be sure to follow safety rules and policies.
Safety meetings are critical in any workplace to make sure everybody is on the same page. This is an opportunity to talk about any safety shortcomings employees are having or discuss important safety topics that come up. Just the fact that safety meetings are being held sends the message to workers that safety is a priority. It also creates a setting in which employees can voice their concerns and opinions about safety topics. When supervisors hold regular safety meetings, they create an easy way to communicate with workers while also giving them a forum to discuss anything they want that relates to safety.
Training is always an important part of occupational safety, and so supervisors need to be as active as possible in helping to train workers. They should double-check with employees that they are comfortable with the training they’ve received and offer follow-up training if necessary. They should also offer less formal on-the-job coaching to make sure the training is sinking in with employees.
Supervisors should always be encouraged to be positive rather than negative whenever possible. If there is an issue with safety, it should be fixed rather than admonished. In the meantime, it’s usually helpful for employees to receive positive reinforcement from supervisors. If they know they are doing something correctly and following safety protocols, they will be more likely to continue doing what they’re doing if they receive positive encouragement. It will make employees feel better and more confident in what they do.
Perhaps more than anything, supervisors need to practice what they preach and lead by example. That means always following safety rules and regulations and doing everything that they expect the employees working under them to do. If supervisors are doing the right thing, employees will have no excuse for not doing the same.
If companies want supervisors to do the best job and make a positive impact on occupational safety, they need to give them the best tools. That means utilizing the safety management software offered by EHS Insight. Our system is set up to keep all aspects of workplace safety organized for managers and supervisors. With everything from compliance to training to communication on the same platform, it becomes easier to manage workplace safety and make sure no issue slips through the cracks.
If your company wants the best tools available to improve workplace safety for your employees, let’s have a conversation about all of the ways our software can help.
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