Home Business 8 Ways to Build and Nurture a Strong Health and Safety Culture in the Office

8 Ways to Build and Nurture a Strong Health and Safety Culture in the Office

by Olufisayo
Health and Safety Culture in the Office

You need to out safety first and you need to mean it!

The only way you can really create and maintain a strong safety culture is when your employees know that you’re serious about making the work environment better and safer. It’s also important that senior management feel similarly and are actively onboard!

If you’re talking about health and safety regularly, for example through toolbox talks, you make sure that employees are up to date with what’s going on and you also build a whole lot of trust between employees, middle and senior managers through regular interaction.

This might not seem like it’s super important at the time, but say an employee has an accident or a near miss. When something doesn’t go to plan, you want to investigate it so that you can prevent it from happening in the future. If there is little trust in the organisation – chances are you’ll never even hear of the near misses and the accident reports will be all but transparent.

Health and Safety Culture in the Office

Make sure senior management is actively involved

Senior management needs to be on board, and they need to be actively involved. Obvious and wholehearted involvement will boost team morale and help ensure employee happiness in the long run.

       

Great managers can often be found on the shop floor chatting to people doing their jobs. Just checking in to see how things are going, hear what employees are struggling with and just for a general chat to build relationships.

There’s no easy way to success here. Top management can’t pretend that they care and then go and do something not in line with it. The entire senior management team needs to lead by example or it’ll seem like the interest is rooted in profits and numbers.

Start new employees off with a comprehensive induction

If you want to really make sure that all new employees start off knowing what things should be like in the business – start them off with a super comprehensive induction programme that covers health and safety in the organisation.

It’s super easy to pick up bad habits from employees that have been in the business for years and perhaps have gotten lazy and are now passing on safety malpractice to new starts without really knowing it.

Setting strong foundations for new employees to found good habits is much easier than changing them in a years time when you realise that things are going in the wrong direction.

       

Offer a range of personal protection equipment suitable for a wide range of employees

PPE used to be a one size fits all kind of deal. This is still the case in some places, but the manufacturers of personal protective clothing have really started upping their game and are now providing a wide range of solutions fitting most industries as well as body shapes.

If you’re a guy, fit a size large and have normal proportions then chances are normal PPE will fit you like a dream.

If you’re a petite guy or a girl then the one-size protective clothing will not fit you well.

Now this isn’t just a question of appearance, but a question of being safe. If you’re tripping over your trouser leg or can’t bend down because your trousers are too tight that should be considered a hazard to the safety of that employee.

Another things to consider is if employees spend a significant amount of time in their PPE. If this is the case then you really should make sure that they are comfortable!

       

It’s a nifty idea to form a small well represented PPE committee that can discuss requirements, wants and needs.

Put up a health and safety notice board

If you’ve got a canteen, kitchen, or an empty wall in the office then pop up a health and safety notice board.

Use your board to show good practise health and safety, news, manual handling techniques and whatever else you think might be useful for employees.

This is a super cost-effective way to keep staff informed and to keep health and safety at the top of their mind.

Add toolbox talks to your meetings to keep employees on their toes

A toolbox talk is a short and very casual catch up on a very specific topic (related to health and safety in this instance but it really could apply to anything).

       

When you brush up on best health and safety practise with your team regularly you make sure everyone is up to speed and know their basic health and safety.

Sending whole teams away for health and safety training is expensive and time-consuming.

Send a few guys away for the full training course and keep the rest of the team posted with weekly or daily toolbox talks depending on what industry you’re in and how many health and safety concerns you’ve got.

When it comes to health and safety — you need to be consistent!

Consistency is key when it comes to building a strong and sound safety culture in an organisation.

Let one person get away with walking across a production floor without safety-shoes and before you know if you’ll have a small army of rule deviating employees.

       

Employees won’t be breaking the rules because they’re actively not wanting to follow them, but because of the slow but steady normalisation of deviation. The ‘If one person does it, then I can do it too’ attitude.

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