Why Communication is the Best Tool for Safety


Whoever first said that “silence is golden” was obviously not talking about safety measures. As employers struggle with ways to keep their workplaces as safe as possible, there is one method that has continually been proven to be the best possible tool for keeping employers and employees safe. This method is called communication, and it can save your company time, money, and grief. Yes, it’s true, a little bit of talking can go a very long way when it comes to preventing workplace accidents and injuries.

The key to making sure that your employees know what to expect in terms of safety standards, and what they should expect if your company’s standards are not being met is to educate them. Hold a staff meeting and explain to them a little bit about the safety standards that are being put into place. Teaching your staff about workplace safety, important safety procedures, and the legal codes and standards that they are being held to will ensure that they do not have an excuse for being sloppy. It also helps create a workplace environment that is more focused on safety, and more focused on being educated about what they do.

It’s also important to cultivate an environment where staff members feel safe (or even obligated) to report health and safety hazards that they see. As an employer, you cannot be everywhere that your employees are. You cannot be there to witness all the things that your employees do, no matter how hard you try. This means that you have to rely on your employees to tell you about the important things that you cannot be present to witness. Many, many workplace hazards that have caused accidents and even deaths could have been avoided if employees felt like they could openly discuss their concerns. If you have been having a hard time encouraging your staff to talk about the hazards that they’ve noticed, offer a reward program for those who keep a vigilant eye.

That being said, it’s important that your employees also get educated on their rights as your staff. You need to make it very clear that they have a right to a safe workplace, and that they have a right to feel safe while they are doing their job. This is especially true for companies that focus on industries that have been known to have high accident rates, such as coal mining, manufacturing, and construction. Many business owners who have been successful in reducing the number of accidents in their companies have made an effort to communicate with their staff about their rights to a safe, clean work environment.

It is also important to teach your staff about the hazards of workers compensation fraud. Your staff need to know that committing fraud is a crime, and a traceable one at that. Much like with the issue of workplace hazards that your staff may have seen, it’s important to make sure that your staff feel comfortable with the idea of reporting workers compensation fraud to you or your insurance company. It’s important that they realise that they will be rewarded for their honesty and that it may help save their jobs as well as the jobs of others.

No matter what front you are fighting in the war against unsafe work environments, it’s important to maintain an open line of communication with your staff. Effectively communicating with your employees may save you a lot of hardship when it comes to the problem of workplace accidents, and it will also make them view you as a better boss.


    Why Monetary Rewards for Safety Performance Won’t Work

    There are very few things that are more worrisome than workplace safety, especially if you are one of the many business owners in the field of construction or manufacturing. Laws are in place that penalises business owners who have employees that do not adhere to work safety standards that are put into place. As a result, it’s important (and also quite mandatory) to teach your employees about workplace safety and to enforce the rules. Keeping your safety risk low also helps keep your worker’s compensation costs low. Trying to drive home the importance of workplace safety can be a taxing chore, and it often can be one that employers struggle with.

    Of course, many employers have tried to find new ways to create a safer, more organised workplace. Some choose to have special workplace safety seminars that educate employees on how to maintain a certain level of safety. Others opt to have a special consultant develop new ways to keep employees on the ball. Still, others choose to have extremely harsh penalties for those who make a mistake that deals with workplace safety.

    Others still choose to have monetary incentives to try to keep their employees from making the same safety mistakes over and over again. Out of all of the different ways to handle safety performance issues, the monetary incentive route is quite possibly the worst option for employers to choose.

    Using money to provide an incentive for people to do something has been a method that has been used for centuries to get things done. Though monetary incentives have been used for decades to motivate people to do the right thing, there have been many studies that have shown that money is not a good motivator in the long run. Some cases have shown that people are more likely to “cheat” in one way or another to try to get the incentive money. Other cases have shown that people begin to expect the incentive without actually doing the work that is needed in order to earn the incentive. In some cases, it will not make a difference in people’s actions at all, since they may not be fully aware of why they are even getting the incentive at all.

    As a general rule, most people do not get motivated by money, even though it is one of the most important tools in a person’s life. According to most psychologists, people are more likely to be motivated by positive social pressure, by purpose, or by fear. Money, on the other hand, will not motivate a person enough to make them change their habits. So business owners would be wise to work on cultivating a culture that encourages looking out for one another or to develop a stricter set of penalties for those who do not obey local safety laws than it would be to spend money trying to get people to look out for workplace safety issues.

    So how do you make a better, safer and smarter workplace?

    • The best way to start is to lead by example and to talk with your employees about the new safety-conscious efforts that will be taking place at work.
    • Hold a couple of quick meetings that teach your employees about proper workplace safety methods, as well as educate your employees on workplace safety laws.
    • If you do a good job of motivating people to be a little bit more conscientious when it comes to their safety practices, you won’t need to spend any money in order to make a major change in the way your company operates.