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Don't Sacrifice Worker Safety: 4 Tips to Better Worker Engagement

15 June, 2023


One of the struggles of being in management is discovering new ways to engage employees in a way that encourages a positive safety culture. By ignoring OSHA safety procedures, it can be costly. On average:

  • 125,000 workers killed or disabled
  • 4,764 from traumatic injuries
  • 120,000 from occupational diseases

In many instances, an employee refusing to follow protocols can be due to their company's work culture. Workers with years of experience are also notorious for taking shortcuts while performing their duties, and often do not realize that it not only puts themselves at risk for injury, but other workers too.
Here are 3 commons reasons why employees choose not to follow procedures:

  • No process has been implemented or understanding of how it works-When employees are not trained on how to do something or explained why it is done a certain way, often those processes are ignored.
  • "This won't happen to me" mentality-After repeatedly doing the same tasks, employees begin to master how to do their jobs. When processes are redundant or inefficient, they often skip or change steps because they think they can do the job better their own way.
  • Get it done faster-Processes often slow down how things get done. For employees who are focused on time, they may skip steps to reach their own timelines.

 Encourage Workers to Follow Safety Protocols

OSHA states employers must comply with the General Duty clause to ensure their workplace is safe from serious hazards. Creating a culture where workers feel comfortable is not always straightforward, nor is it something that will happen overnight.  Here are 4 ways to help keep workers on track:

  1. Establish a Safety Plan- Create a written safety plan and enforce those procedures. It can decrease workplace injuries, reduce lost time, and increase compliance.
  2. Create Healthy Competitions-Make a chart for each employee in a viewable area. Encourage worker participation by reporting an "observable" for gold stars. Whoever has the most stars at the end of each month wins a prize.
  3. Use Visual Imagery-Create safety signs that remind workers what they need to do to be safe
  4. Explain the Process-Create a space where employees are encouraged to share their ideas and concerns, while also being held accountable when they make mistakes.

Employees trained on how to be efficient at their jobs while remaining safe is a key step in a facility's safety management system. Workers should be encouraged to voice innovative ideas, because it will benefit the workplace and result in higher morale, fewer injuries, and reduced stress. Employers can improve their workplace safety signage with expert help from DuraLabel. Get help crafting a system that will provide the safety communication you need. Call 1-888-326-9244 and one of our experts will guide you through the process.