Health and safety in the workplace is vitally important. Perhaps not the most glamorous topic, it still must be taken seriously to prevent injury and keep your business running smoothly and safely.
This National Safety Month, we decided to put together our top 8 tips on how to build a culture of safety in your organisation.
1. Gain buy-in
It’s not uncommon for health and safety requirements to be treated as a box-ticking exercise, something that can be left for the health and safety officer to deal with, but getting the whole team involved is vital to cementing it as the important process it is.
To do this you need to make sure that every level of the team is involved, from senior positions down to junior. Having high-level team members take it seriously will foster camaraderie and the feeling that everyone must do their part for it to succeed.
Asking for suggestions and feedback when building your approach is also an excellent way of actively involving your colleagues and getting them invested in the project.
2. Create defined responsibilities
Every organisation will have a health and safety officer but creating additional roles for other team members can help too. For junior team members, extra responsibilities can not only help them feel more valued as a team member but also increase their investment in the process.
Define the roles clearly and plainly, detail what responsibilities come with them, and outline what you will provide to help the team member achieve the goal of the role.
3. Consistency is key
Once you have the buy-in, persistence and repetition are key to consolidating the habits that build a successful workplace safety culture.
Be prepared for there to be momentary lapses, and when they happen, be sure to address them with the team member, but avoid any temptation to assign blame. Instead, ask what they forgot, why they forgot it, and how you can help them moving forward.
Hold them accountable so they know what they do is important, but don’t chastise them.
4. Offer appropriate training
Not only will this give the team members the skills needed to carry out the roles they’ve been assigned, but it will also let the entire team know you are serious about the process.
Colleagues and employees who see that you are actively investing time, money and resources into keeping them safe at work will also be more likely to buy-in and have a more positive relationship with work in general.
5. Encourage open communication and reporting
As previously mentioned, you won’t avoid safety hazards all the time. It’s important to keep an open line of communication with your team and establish a system for them to report any concerns or infringements.
This won’t just allow you to monitor potential issues, but again, it’ll help your employees take a degree of ownership over the project.
Stress to the team that this is not an exercise to catch anyone out, instead it’s designed to help everyone stay safe, address any recurring issues and help everyone get better at spotting hazards.
6. Understand it’s an ongoing process
Much like running a business, keeping the workplace safe is an evolving process that never stops. Whenever a new way of working is introduced, or even workplace furniture is rearranged, a health and safety assessment must always be conducted.
Ensuring that you and your team understand this from the very beginning will help avoid any “burnout”, as well as strengthen the idea of health and safety being an everyday consideration.
7. Celebrate the successes
Perhaps the most important step, celebrating the success of the team is vitally important to encouraging continued effort.
Establishing an incentive scheme based on the collective success of your health and safety protocols is an easy way to not just gain buy-in from the team, but also reward them for good work, making them feel valued and that their effort was worthwhile.
While these tips are great as a guide to building a culture of safety in general, working in the specialised environments in the wind industry calls for an extremely high level of safety practice and knowledge.
At Safer at Work, we provide several GWO approved courses that can prepare your team for the dangers of the wind turbine and wind farm industry, ensuring that they can carry out their work safely and efficiently.