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As a safety professional, you’re used to wearing a lot of hats. Sometimes, it feels like all you do is run in twenty different directions, putting out fires.
Because of this, it’s easy to fall into the same rut: focusing on the same big issues. You know, the ones you seem to harp on at least three times a day?
Here’s the thing: when you’re running around in circles, it’s easy to lose sight of the underlying pattern. Some safety issues pervade your entire workplace, even when you’re dealing with two dramatically different safety concerns.
Here are two of the most underappreciated employee safety issues your workplace probably deals with, why they tend to go underappreciated, and what you can do to bridge the gap.
Work in safety? Then you’re likely familiar with awareness. After all, you drill your employees every single day to stay alert, stay aware, stay cognizant of their surroundings.
The thing is, safety awareness goes much deeper than paying attention.
Safety awareness is a constant realization that every employee must carry with them, the constant understanding that safety underlies every task they do. Unfortunately, safety awareness is also one of the most neglected areas of safety.
You see, true safety awareness is a complex thing. In order to be aware, employees need to know what to be aware of and, on a deeper level, why it matters to be aware. That’s where the right safety training techniques are critical. It’s not enough just to drill awareness – you have to demonstrate why it should personally matter to employees and inspire them to take care of their colleagues every single day.
Think of it this way. As an EHS professional, your job involves a lot of communicating. You have to train your employees. You have to show them where there are safety issues and why those issues are a big deal. You have to get everyone involved in safety.
If there’s a communication breakdown and misunderstanding, your safety process breaks down with it. For example, if employees don’t understand the rules, they’ll have a hard time staying compliant with them. If employees don’t understand safety training, they won’t be able to use what they’ve learned in a real work setting.
The trick to improving safety communication is to strike a balance. If you communicate too little, there’s a wide margin of error and your employees will struggle with the specifics. If you communicate too much, you’ll overwhelm your employees, and at a certain point they’ll tune you out.
Think of it as communicating what’s most important. You could remind employees about every little thing, but the smarter approach is to communicate for maximum effect. Be clear and thorough when you talk about safety issues, but be to the point.
Your work toward better employee safety is never finished. When you come to work, you hit the ground running. The thing is, in order to recognize the underlying issues we’ve highlighted here, you need the right tools to recognize the pattern. And from a practical perspective, you need a tool that won’t slow you down.
That’s where our safety software can help, making it easy for EHS professionals to get see the forest for the trees without taking time away from the daily work of safety.
Sound like the right fit? Then let us change the way you think about safety. Get in touch today to learn how our software can change your approach.
Since 2009, the team at EHS Insight have been on a mission to make the world a better place. Join us by subscribing to our Blog and receive updates on what’s new in the world of EHS, our software and other related topics.
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