5 Ways to Get Your EH&S Employees Safety Compliant
It’s uncomfortable. It’ll be quick. I forgot. Just a couple excuses employers hear every day when it comes to not complying with safety regulations.
Before OSHA was instituted in 1971, an estimated 14,000 deaths occurred in the workplace every year. Although the numbers have significantly dropped since then, there are still employees ignoring safety precautions every day, resulting in injuries and deaths. According to OSHA, there are still 4,380 fatal injuries on the job each year. Safety education and awareness, no doubt, is still important - and difficult to learn.
With all the safety acronyms and regulations, learning how to be safe in the workplace can feel like drowning in a bowl of alphabet soup. Hours of safety training are usually a snore. Many workers don't really know the safety precautions they need to take to have a safe, compliant job, or they don't take them seriously.
For these reasons, we give you five tips to get your EH&S workers to be safety compliant.
Employees can’t be safety compliant if they have no idea what that means. Employers should provide understandable safety training to all employees expected to be safety compliant. Here’s an OSHA resource list for your employees:
• OSHA Compliance Guide on Training
• OSHA Training Requirements
• OSHA Training Standards Policy Statement
• OSHA Training Done for You
• OSHA Employee Rights and Responsibilities
Tip: Create a custom rulebook applicable to your business and your workers. Include OSHA regulations as well as other rules that you think are important to your company specifically. This will allow new employees to focus on learning the OSHA regulations pertinent to them, give veteran employees a place of reference, and allow you to add in rules and regulations important to you.
Use a Sense of Humor
Hanging up signs or including information about safety in your company newsletter can get boring and is easily tuned out. One way to cut through the noise and reach your employees about safety is by approaching it with a sense of humor. Here are a few of my favorite safety signs and slogans that will help you create an effective safety culture in your workplace:
• Protect your hands, you need them to pick up your pay check.
• Safety glasses: All in favor say “Eye!”
• While on a ladder, never step back to admire your work.
• If you plan on violating the Fall Protection rules, please leave details for next of kin.
• Work related injuries are punishable by mountains of HR and insurance paperwork.
There are always instances when a potentially dangerous situation can’t be avoided. In these cases, you can provide ways to help reduce the danger with readily available solutions. An example might be if your employees need to be working in the heat all day. You might not be able to prevent your workers from being in the heat, but you can do things like provide water and sun screen. If solutions are readily available to your employees, they’re much more likely to take advantage. Try this tool to help protect your employees from the heat.
Know Your Responsibilities
Who's going to take an employer seriously that doesn’t even know what his/her responsibilities are? I wouldn’t. The more knowledgeable you are about providing a safe environment for your employees and the more you focus on that, the more likely it is that your employees will follow suit. A great way to stay on top of these responsibilities is by making a checklist. Here’s an example of a self-inspection checklist for asbestos. Visit OSHA's website for more information on your responsibilities as an employer.
According to T&D World Magazine, employee involvement is the key to creating a successful safety culture. Invite employees to express concerns or discuss regulations. Ask employees how they want to create their safety system and urge them to get involved. Other ways to get employees involved include interacting through emails with notes of gratitude and praise and having regular safety meetings.
We know it can be difficult managing an EH&S team, training them, and keeping up-to-date with compliance issues. In fact, doing so can be costly, time consuming, and unnecessary. So, what should you do? It's a combination of expert advice, collaboration, and a program designed just for you. Check out our Onsite Support Services and talk to a member of our team to find a solution that works for you.