WA Management has recently welcomed Alice Fennell to the team. She is fresh out of university and ready to climb the ladder to being a Health and Safety Consultant! As you can imagine this is quite an undertaking, and one that she has decided to document, so you can all experience this journey as well! Here is blog number 1…hold on tight!
In mulling over the subject of health and safety in my first couple of weeks at WA Management, it goes without saying it belongs at the top of any organisation’s priorities. However, reaching that objective can become a real challenge. With numerous obstacles such as changing conditions, lack of training and ineffective communication all coming into question when trying to keep the workplace safe.
In my first two weeks at WA Management I have come across several factors that organisations should consider when embarking on an effort to implement a so called ‘Safety Culture’.
- Documenting Procedures
Documentation ensures that all of the organisation is kept on the same page, it allows for clear and thorough safety checks, and in an emergency having clearly documented work ensures that there is no confusion or uncertainty. Up to date, ongoing documentation could prevent disastrous consequences, it also keeps procedures up to date meaning organisations can continually improve their health and safety standards.
Communication is a vital necessity to influence a workplace safety culture. Ensuring that emergency procedures and important updates are communicated effectively, should mean that managers are using multiple pathways to communicate. Things such as large digital screens that can convey real time updates, up to date posters and digital communication via mobile phones, emails and blogs ensures key, real-time safety information that can be communicated immediately.
- Competent Leadership
Change always starts from the top down. Employees are very perceptive of attitudes conveyed by leadership. Meaning that if leadership has a bad attitude towards health and safety, it’s highly likely the workforce will also. Having a competent leader who can conversely talk and put to practice safety procedures, can actively contribute to ensuring employees take health and safety seriously and overall start to improve it.
Actions will always speak louder than words. Ensuring that ongoing training, improvement and drills are happening is key for a safety culture in the workplace. Keeping a training matrix is a key component for organisations who want to better their health and safety, as practice does always make perfect.
- Rewarding the little things
The truth is employees are there to work and get paid, so to ensure that a safety culture is implemented incentives and reward programs are vital. They can be incredibly meaningful and stimulate success. Examples such as events, bonuses, team days and accrued days off can help keep safety at the top of the to do list.
- Safety First, Safety Second
Health and safety really doesn’t ever sleep. In order to initiate and achieve a safety culture it has to become a system that is implemented in every department, initiative and idea rather than a program that can eventually end.
It should be every organisations goal to achieve an all-round safety culture and by considering these factors will inevitably help speed up the process.