You’ve made environmental, health and safety your career, but don’t be surprised if your team members don’t share your quest for knowledge and success.
Teaching and talking about health and safety topics can be tricky business, especially if you aren’t sure if you’re really connecting with your employees.
It helps to focus on subjects that they can directly relate to and are truly interested in. When they take a personal interest in what you have to say, they’re more likely to remember it and understand its importance in their daily duties.
Take a look at our top picks for health and safety topics that can help you engage and inform your team.
#1 – Workplace Ergonomics
Perhaps one of the most relatable health and safety topics, good ergonomics are critical in preventing injuries. Repetitive actions like lifting, bending, twisting, and even sitting can all affect a person’s performance both inside and outside the workplace.
It’s important for your team to know that injuries associated with poor ergonomics can be prevented. If you’re educating your team on ergonomics, considering calling in an expert, like a chiropractor or doctor, to help deliver some visuals. Having a new face and perspective to place with the topic can break up the monotony of safety lectures and place a higher value on the importance of good ergonomics.
#2 – Protective Equipment
Protective gear you use in the workplace is an easy topic because you can incorporate visuals into your talk. Bring a variety of items your workers use every day and talk about the benefits, how to properly wear and operate the equipment, flaws to look for, and any other information that can help them work safer.
#3 – Emergency Preparedness
Fire drills and escape routes aren’t just requirements in the workplace – they’re smart ideas to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
If there’s a tornado or fire in the building, your employees need to know what to do to protect themselves from harm. Identifying safe areas, meeting places, and the quickest routes to safety could potentially save their lives one day. Also, sending text messages to your employees is crucial to get the word out on threats or dangers.
It’s not enough to simply talk about emergency preparedness or post the escape routes on the break room walls. Planning and doing are two very different things, especially under stress. Get your employees involved by planning active drills on a regular basis to ensure they can act accordingly if a real emergency were to arise.
#4 – Heat-Related Stress
Working in an environment that’s at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit can pose potential heat risks. Yet your employees may not understand the full risks associated with working under warm or hot conditions.
Naturally, many types of work can cause a person to feel warmer than usual because movement creates energy. But not everyone will recognize when they’re working too hard or becoming too hot because they may believe it’s only normal.
Talk to your team about the signs of heat stress and what to look for in the event of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Knowing the symptoms can help workers recognize when it’s time to take a break, slow their pace, or ask for help. It’s also a good idea to require mandatory water breaks when temperatures climb.
#5 – Winter Weather
If you live in an area that receives wintery weather at least once a year, it’s a good idea to talk to your team about making good choices when exposed to winter elements on and off the clock.
Bad winter weather conditions can create slippery surfaces and extreme cold. Movements can be limited because of bulky clothing and gear. Travel times to and from job sites can be longer.
Even if you don’t have employees working outdoors, this is a great health and safety topic to keep them safe when traveling to and from work. You might be able to prevent car accidents, slips, or other disasters that could result in time away from work.
How to Keep the Conversation Going
Health and safety are serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them fun. Remember that talking about emergency responses or workplace ergonomics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so try turning bland information into an exciting or humorous narrative. At the very least, it will earn employee attention and help them relate to the subject.
For more helpful insights on strengthening your EHS program, feel free to explore our blog.