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How Managers Can Ensure a Safe Working Environment for Employees

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on July 12, 2021 at 3:55 PM

Successful business happens because of successful employees, but successful managers are the ones who make the conditions that allow great employees to excel.

When it comes to safety, employees might get all the attention, but managers are the ones who create the conditions for safety success. And under the General Duty Clause, it’s not just a good idea for managers to take an active role in creating a safe working environment for employees. It’s a legal obligation.

Here are three tips every manager can use to ensure a safe working environment for employees.

Top-Down Buy-In

Trying to build your safety program? Then it’s time to take it from the top. The top-down, that is.

You can have all the systems and procedures in the world, but without management buy-in, it’s worthless. Remember, employees take their cues from their managers, often in subtler ways than managers realize.

They understand something about the safety culture, for example, when there’s a policy about wearing hard hats in a certain area and managers always don a hard hat, even if they’re only passing through for a minute or two. Or when managers rearrange their schedules to make time for safety training, even if they have to reschedule important meetings to participate.

Creating a safe work environment starts with having the management team on board. That means vocal involvement and equal responsibility for safety among employees and managers. To put it simply, preach the merits of safety often–and then practice what you preach.

Everybody Talks

Employees get the most attention in work safety situations because they’re the ones most likely to notice a problem. After all, there are more of them than there are of you. The key is to get them to speak up.

So, start talking.

It’s not enough to ask employees to speak up. They have to feel comfortable going to their managers about safety issues, and they have to feel like they’re being heard when they speak up.

A good way to approach this is to start with an open-door policy. Literally, keep your door open and invite people in from time to time. It’s a simple but effective psychological signal that you’re open to visitors.

Respond Immediately

That said, you have to follow up talk with action. Otherwise, employees won’t feel like it does any good to speak up, and eventually, they won’t bother.

So if an employee comes to you with a safety concern, listen to their concern and address the issue immediately. Even if it means stopping work, it’s essential to prove to employees that their voice matters and their concerns are being addressed.

Your Partner in Guaranteeing a Safe Working Environment for Employees

When you’re creating a safe working environment for employees, every detail matters–including management performance. That’s why it’s essential to have the right tools on your side.

Our safety management software makes it easy to see all the relevant safety information, from policies to employee reporting to hazard tracking and more. That way, you can always make an informed decision to guarantee a safe workplace.

Ready to build a truly safe workplace? Get in touch today to learn more about how our safety software can empower managers to get the job done.

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, Safety Management

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