Make safety a company value
Safety is often referred to as a priority, not as a value. Priorities change in response to situational demands. When safety is a basic value it becomes a natural way of performing a job instead of being simply a priority.
When we tell employees that safety is a priority and present them with all the rules, policies and procedures we have put in place and then threaten them with write-ups, suspensions and/or termination for ignoring the rules, policies and procedures, we create a confrontational atmosphere.
Getting employees to make safety a value to them takes some work but it can be done if presented in a different way than as a threat. A different approach could be to make safety a personal issue. Stop saying: “I will write you up if I see you giving someone a ride on your forklift.” Instead, explain to that operator the person they are putting in danger is someone’s son or daughter, or that person has a two-year-old child at home who wants dad to come home every day. By making safety a core value, making it personal and then practicing what we preach, we can make safety a positive issue instead of a negative one.
There are some good videos on this topic in RS SafetyTV.
WR employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected]