How to keep your worker safe
Want to increase your company's safety effectiveness? There are some simple things you can do so that workers will care about working safely and following proper work procedures to reduce the frequency and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses.
First of all, it's important to stress safety training and instill hazard awareness early. Emphasize accident prevention during any job training. Explain rules and regulations thoroughly. Rules are less likely to be broken or ignored when workers understand them and why they have been established. Generalized statements about working safely are not very helpful. Be specific. Then, enforce safety rules uniformly. You can't let one worker break the rules then expect others to follow them.
Communicate frequently. Talk with workers about safety. Encourage two way conversations. Few people like to be told dogmatically what they should or should not do, so try to avoid lecturing or preaching. If workers have ideas that will improve safety performance, listen to them. If an idea is practical put it into effect and make certain the worker gets credit for it.
Most employees want recognition, so be a credit giver. Observe how workers do their job. When safe work practices are followed, let them know you are aware and pleased. Praise correct procedures and make workers aware of areas that need improvement.
Be a hazard detector. It's human for workers who have done a job over and over to take work operations for granted. However, a relaxed attitude can lead to accidents. Watch for changing worker behavior. If you notice that a usually reliable worker has become inattentive or preoccupied, it's a danger signal. When a worker's mind is not on the job, the stage is set for an accident. Train workers to always be safety conscious, so that they are continuously aware of injury hazards to themselves or their co-workers.
Analyze jobs from a safety viewpoint. Know each job in your operation so you can spot potential hazards. If a different work practice will eliminate a hazard, introduce it. Explain why, from a safety viewpoint, certain work practices must be followed, without exception. And finally, be aware of the physical or emotional condition of your workers to determine if they are able to do their jobs safely. You may want to reassign workers to activities they can perform without jeopardizing their safety or the safety of others.
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