Safety Culture and Behavioral Safety

Safety Awareness: More Ways to Build It

Safety awareness can’t be dictated. Instead, employees have to be immersed in it, from many directions. Here are a few steps toward helping workers reach that state of mind.

In the last Advisor, we began exploring ways to build safety awareness into your workers’ thought patterns … to get them to think about doing things safely as well as quickly, accurately, or with a reward in mind.

One way was to engage workers in groupthink exercises, such as safety brainstorming, in which they come up with safety ideas as a team. Experts agree this is a far stronger way to involve them than in a traditional one-way communication, such as a lecture. The ideas are also “owned” by those who generate them, as opposed to being imposed by an outside source. They are,e therefore, more likely to be respected.

We illustrated how this works here at BLR with a resultant checklist of safety awareness do’s and don’ts. Now, here are other ideas for imbuing workers with safety awareness, some from the National Federation of Independent Business website,

  • Develop a Safety Manual. This book given to new workers on day one, says NIFB, should “pool safety information from department managers, equipment and tool manufacturers, and workplace safety experts,” and should include “startup and lockdown procedures, types of activity to avoid at work, and proper attire for operating equipment.”

  • Name a Safety Champion. This idea calls for naming one employee in each work area to research and report on safety at regular safety or department meetings. It’s often amazing how workers take to this responsibility. At one organization we know, the safety coordinator, as he’s called, subscribes to safety magazines and continually contacts safety organizations to bring his co-workers the best and latest information. The gratitude he receives from colleagues is his only payment for this work.

  • Hold a Safety Event. Let employees plan and carry out safety demonstrations or create exhibits for these events, which can be either freestanding or part of larger company gatherings. NIFB adds that this as an ideal time to hold contests or distribute safety awards. Guest speakers may also be requested from vendors or safety or trade associations.

  • Build Safety into Employee Communications. In every employee contact—from daily e-mails to paycheck stuffers to newsletters—safety should be stressed. In fact, the more focus you put on it, the more it will become a core value for your organization. Don’t forget posters … or how to properly display them. That means locating safety messages so they’re not be lost in a sea of EEOC and Wage and Hour announcements. They should get priority placement in the work areas, if possible, and not be covered by other postings as time passes.

  • Think you’ve got no time to train? Think again. BLR’s 7-Minute Safety Trainer lets you fulfill all key OSHA-required training tasks in as little as 7 minutes. Try it at no cost and see! Click to learn more.

    You can’t train them if they’re not “there”

    There’s another reason safety awareness suffers, especially in high-pressure job environments. (Is there any other kind these days?) It’s that, while you put a lot of your effort into training, workers’ heads are simply elsewhere. They may feel they’re too busy to attend training sessions, or if they do come, their minds may be back at the job.

    The secret to beating this syndrome is high impact training … concise, information-packed messages in very little time. To meet this need, you may want to look into BLR’s unique 7-Minute Safety Trainer. It’s exactly what its name implies: 50 training meeting modules, most OSHA-required, teachable in as little as 7 minutes each.

    That time frame didn’t just happen. Educators know that in many learning situations, student attention starts to wander in just 7 minutes. Thus, each lesson was designed to complete in that time. A side benefit, of course, is more time for you, for your other important tasks.

    Try 7-Minute Safety Trainer at no cost or risk. Click for details.

    The 50 prewritten meetings deal with every aspect of safety you’d want or need to train on. You can view a complete table of contents here, but among the topics are:

    • Confined spaces

    • Electrical safety

    • Fire safety/response

    • HAZCOM

    • Machine guarding and lockout/tagout

    • Material handling

    • PPE use and care

    • Housekeeping/slips, trips and falls

    • and dozens more

    Every meeting module also includes a detailed trainer’s guide, a handout, and a quick quiz with answers. Just make as many copies as needed of the handouts and quizzes, and you’re ready to train. You can view materials from a sample module here.

    And more important, when the regs compel new training topics or training needs to be freshened, the program ships new meetings every quarter. This service is included in the program price, which averages just over a dollar a working day. In fact, this is one of BLR’s most popular safety programs.

    If you’d like to personally evaluate 7-Minute Safety Trainer and see how it can build safety awareness, we’ll be happy to send it to you for 30 days, on a no-cost trial basis. Just click here and we’ll arrange it.

    Download Table of Contents
    Download Sample Safety Meeting