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.