Ask Maslow. Individuals need to feel safe to function at a high level, and those needs don’t change once they enter the workplace. In fact, right now, they may be more critical.
As a result of the pandemic, workers’ stress levels have reached an all-time high. Those uncertainties connected to COVID-19 have also caused employee engagement to dip – the first such drop in more than a decade. Understandably, all that worrying has made it challenging to focus on the job.
For employees, knowing that their workplace promotes risk management and prioritizes accident prevention makes it easier to keep the focus on their performance. It’s peace of mind that directly impacts productivity. Working is less complicated when hazards are minimized.
BBB Great West + Pacific recently recognized businesses committed to prioritizing those precautions. This year, 21 companies located in Northern Colorado and the metro Denver area were named recipients of the 2020 BBB Best in Safety Awards following their year-long commitment to achieving high standards for safety. Meeting that mark meant:
- Having no losses from June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020.
- Maintaining a loss modification factor of .85 or below.
- Achieving cost containment certification by the state of Colorado.
Each Best in Safety Awards winner qualified to be a member of the BBB Safety Group hosted in collaboration with BBB serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming and Pinnacol Assurance. They’re each also BBB Accredited, which makes sense considering the influence safety can have on trust.
Employees need to know their employer has their best interests at heart. It’s easier to work for an organization when you have the assurance that they care about you and your health. Business owners and workplace leaders are responsible for creating that culture.
If your safety protocols could use an update, these tips can help get you started.
- Communicate. Signs and labels are a surefire way to spread information about potential hazards and raise awareness of processes that maintain safety. Beyond those tools, though, it’s essential to establish a way for employees to comfortably share safety concerns about their work environment. Hosting a regular safety meeting or creating an internal safety committee are effective solutions for collecting and acting on that feedback.
- Initiate. Your company’s culture is instilled in new hires right when they join your team. So, make sure safety is a part of their introduction. Include any safety procedures and protocols into your organization’s onboarding experience so that everyone is ready to reduce risk right from the get-go. And if you’re really wanting to dial things up a notch, you can ask candidates safety-related questions during the interview process to understand how educated they are on those processes.
- Reinforce. Awards shouldn’t just be for business owners, not when it comes to promoting a safe workplace. Encourage and engage your workforce by celebrating when they effectively follow policies that reduce workplace injuries. Something small like a gift card or some paid time off is an easy way to incentivize workers to stay on top of important procedures.
- Train. Signs and labels are good reminders, but formal training may be most effective to establish workplace best practices. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has several training requirements in place to protect workers from injury. Your workers’ compensation insurance carrier may have training materials available to share with your employees as well.
- Monitor. Don’t solely rely on your team to tell you when there’s a safety issue present. Regularly walk through your workplace to see first-hand how employees are performing their jobs. What you observe may reinforce that your training approach is working or help you identify opportunities to help you team up their safety practices.
What is your organization’s process for promoting safety in the workplace? Let us know by leaving a comment.