Safety should be a top priority for all organisations. World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April) is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of promoting a safety and health culture in the workplace and its role in helping to reduce work-related deaths and injuries. By building a strong safety culture and implementing an actionable safety plan, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of workplace incidents and create an environment where employees feel happier, safer and more productive.
We spoke to Carlos Colmenar, Winc’s resident health and safety expert to provide six tips on how to build a stronger safety culture at work.
1. Define safety responsibilities and communicate
“Clearly define safety responsibilities for each level within your organisation including policies, goals and objectives. Have a holistic view of how you can keep your people safe in the type of environment they work in,” says Carlos.
Ensure you are constructing a safety plan that is in line with the hierarchy of controls. To find out more about the hierarchy of controls, read our blog about five ways to help keep workers safe.
Then communicate these safety plans and projected targets to your employees. “Being transparent with employees can help motivate them to get involved. In addition, make sure everyone understands what is required of them and what behaviours are expected. Safety should be part of everyone’s role, not an extra task,” says Carlos.
2. Provide training and support
“Ongoing training and sharing knowledge are key to building a culture where safety is front of mind. Employees are better equipped to get involved when they are aware of the role they play to act in a safe way,” says Carlos.
“Make sure your employees are trained specifically for the tasks they need to perform, offer the training in other languages if necessary and ensure you support regular refresher training too. Offering workplace wellness programs that support the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of your employees is also an important aspect of workplace safety,” says Carlos.
3. Have strong reporting and incident investigations
It’s crucial to have reporting and incident investigation systems that work. “Make sure everyone knows how to report hazards, near misses and incidents correctly,” says Carlos.
“Having proper investigation systems in place can provide data on how and why an incident occurred. Through analysis, you can establish root causes, and this really helps shape plans to prevent future incidents,” says Carlos.
4. Ask for feedback
Building a strong safety culture is a collaborative effort. “Involve employees throughout the process and initiate two-way conversations about health and safety. Ask for feedback on how messages are being communicated and implemented,” says Carlos.
5. Regularly review and improve
Ensure you are reviewing your safety plan, goals and objectives regularly and tracking progress. “Continually develop and implement initiatives and fill in the gaps to improve safety,” says Carlos.
6. Have the right PPE
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is any equipment worn or used for protection against hazardous environments or substances.
“PPE should be used in conjunction with other safety measures or when no other safety controls are available,” says Carlos. “Remember to select the right sizes for each worker and ensure equipment is correctly fitted.”
For all your workplace safety needs, Winc has a wide selection of PPE, first aid supplies, safety tools and more. We source products from reputable brands in the safety industry. Browse our broad safety range online.