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When safety interactions are prioritized as a useful EHS tool, they help create an environment where workers feel they can speak up and be heard. After all, they’re an opportunity for workers to engage with the EHS team one-on-one, person-to-person.
The key is using your safety interactions correctly. These are not sermons, lectures, or punishments, but interactions. Here are a few positive safety interaction examples to incorporate into your toolbox for your next set of safety interactions.
What characterizes the best interactions you’ve ever had? Did the other person talk at you for the whole conversation, or did they listen to what you had to say and respond to you?
In safety interactions, as in any other type of interaction, give and take is essential. After all, safety interactions are interactions, not sermons, which means they involve back and forth. And if you want the other half of the interaction to be engaged, you have to listen to what they’re actually saying.
So, break out the active listening skills you use in other facets of safety. You may be surprised by how much you learn.
While safety is often associated with what could go wrong, you don’t want your workers to have negative associations with safety. If they think of safety as a punishment, they’ll shy away from it.
Safety interactions are the perfect venue to cultivate those positive associations.
A useful tactic in safety communication is equally applicable here: emphasizing what workers are doing right while gently encouraging them to consider behaviors they could improve. This places the focus on what’s going right so that workers are encouraged to see behavior corrections as rewarding.
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to engage in deeper safety conversations.
The truth is, talking to your workers one-on-one is an opportunity you won’t get anywhere else. You can learn things about your safety culture that would be impossible to discover any other way. After all, workers have a completely different job perspective, and they’re the ones who work their jobs every day.
So, why not use safety interactions as the opportunity they are?
Plus, having a conversation creates a safe space for employees to bring up issues they’ve noticed that they might not bring up in a larger safety meeting. It’s more comfortable to mention concerns in a one-on-one setting.
Like anything else in safety, your safety interaction examples won’t do any good if you don’t use them. Safety is all about putting ideas into action for the wellbeing of everyone, and safety interactions are no different.
That said, for all the useful information you can gather from safety interactions, you have to be able to record your findings successfully. That’s where our work observation software can help, making it easier than ever to stay on top of your observations and turn them into real results. Get in touch today to see how our software can strengthen your safety interaction follow-up process.
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