Most employees understand they’re responsible for creating a safe work environment. They understand the importance of being trained to safely carry out their job duties and ensure the safety of coworkers. However, there are times when safety measures are ignored. As human beings, employees don’t always follow procedures. As a manager, you may not want to engage in a potentially confrontational situation. If a worker willfully ignores safety regulations and shows lack of respect for rules, they may be less likely to listen to your guidance in safely performing their duties. No matter the reason, safety needs to be a top priority for everyone.
Here are six ways to address unsafe employees.
1. Provide Safety Reminders
Give employees reminders for safety procedures as you see fit. Keep in mind that anyone, including employees who’ve been with you the longest or have a history of safety compliance, can become complacent and forget to follow safety steps. Or, they might believe nothing bad will happen if they don’t follow all steps.
2. Immediately Address Issues
Address safety issues as you become aware of them. Unsafe employees present risks to physical safety and employee morale. Workers need to know that safety is a company priority so they feel valued and respected.
3. Conduct Training Programs
Provide ongoing safety training programs. Employees need to understand the importance of keeping themselves and coworkers safe. Show them how to maintain safety standards, report incidents, and get help when needed. Include frequent updates and refresher courses to reinforce learning and using safety information.
4. Encourage Reporting of Concerns
Stress the importance of employees reporting safety issues when they occur. Avoid incentivizing workers to hide safety problems by focusing on having no incidents. Empower them to do what they can to minimize the impact of a safety concern. Always investigate and follow up with the employee on reports.
5. Post Visible Signs
Make sure signage is in place where needed. Remind employees of steps to take to avoid safety problems. Provide guidance on what to do if safety is violated. This may include immediately seeking medical attention.
6. Change Employee Mindsets
Educate employees to change their mindset on the importance of following safety rules. For instance, many workers fear being blamed or punished if they report an incident. As a result, many incidents go unreported. This results in missed opportunities to learn how to improve. To encourage changes in these mindsets, immediately reward and recognize employees who display safe behaviors and report incidents or near misses. This encourages workers to talk about avoiding unsafe acts and modeling desired behaviors.
Hire Safety-Minded Workers
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