Six Ways a Focus on Safety Strengthens Your Workplace
Safety isn't a concern that's top of mind in all industries. However, in manufacturing, construction, and warehouse environments, it's a critical focus for employees on a daily basis. And as the workplace evolves, new hazards and troubles emerge.
If organizations keep the safety of their employees as a top priority, there are many benefits for companies that can be enjoyed both from an operational and humanistic perspective. Here are six ways that a continual focus on safety awareness can strengthen your workplace:
1) Solidifies Leadership
It is comforting to know you can turn to a manager or administrator that knows what to do when the chips are down. Practiced safety regimes forge accountability and establish a chain of command. As a direct result, employees know who they rely on in case of emergency.
This narrative is exceptionally beneficial in rugged and challenging work environments. Most commonly in environs where manual labor is part of everyday practices or where weather can have a great influence, there is reassurance in knowing a battle-tested leader is ready to act on a moment's notice.
2) Establishes Stronger Relationships and Efficiency
When workers know how to work safely, they establish continuity. This also can be beneficial from a team building perspective, as it can foster cohesion among fellow employees and strengthen the relationship between administrators and general staff. As a direct result, these augmentations can lead to the innovation of new methods to complete a task, faster and better. These methodologies can be migrated in to standard operating procedures or workplace practices.
Continuous safety is virtually synonymous with continuous improvement, which in turn results in identifying and implementing better and safer ways to do the same job. Improvements to employee morale and culture transformation are two positive results of establishing efficient practices.
3) Promotes Trust and Collaboration
A key ingredient to augmenting productivity in the workplace is establishing trust and promoting collaboration. Continual safety awareness inherently reinforces the notion of trusting your fellow colleague in the trenches, knowing they have your best interest in heart and finally as a result catalyzing collaboration. It is easier to work with someone you can trust and continual safety awareness allows for trust to develop between employees in the perhaps the most drastic of scenarios.
4) Reinforces Teamwork and Communication
Teamwork and communication are reinforced, because accountability is the backbone of continuous safety. Some may posit that employees' questions related to safety can be redundant or that certain items are repetitive, however continuous safety awareness argues otherwise. It is important to eliminate negative ideals and replace them with progressive ideologies that bolster and encourage employee interaction and openness. Continuous safety drives this idiom.
5) Calls to Action
Building on our first precept, continuous safety awareness reinforces a call to action. In the event of an emergency, an action plan can assure all employees and workers are protected from potentially deadly consequences. Continuous safety awareness enables employees to effectively and safely handle their daily functions and duties, while outlining a set of directives to ensure their welfare is upheld.
6) Assures Regulatory Compliance
Continuous safety awareness drives regulatory compliance. On a local, federal or organizational level, these narratives are learned and applied on a daily basis. Learning these prescribed narratives can serve as a great foundation for improving workplace safety. Two of the flagship agencies for workplace safety are OSHA and NIOSH. OSHA is the chief leader of employee relations and occupational safety, yet many are unaware of their various directives. Continuous safety brings all employees up to speed on these various practices.
Tom Reddon is a Forklift Specialist and Blog Manager for National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the MHEDA Executive Dialogue team.
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