Every HSE Manual should insist on having daily FLRA (Field Level Risk Assessments) filled out as part of program and diligence to keep employees safe; however, any Health and Safety professional also knows how hard it can be to develop a culture where the employees actually fill them out. So how can employers create an incentive and culture within the company, to make sure the proper documentation and implementation of your HSE program is followed, in turn maximizing its potential. We have a couple ideas that have worked in the past.
Idea 1: Communication
Okay, this is a simple one. But it is surprising that the safety requirements and policies are not always known by employees. Companies usually go through orientation and other diligence activities only to see the thought of safety tapers off over time.
Communicate regularly to keep people engaged. This can be accomplished through your toolbox meetings, update emails, your regular safety meetings, inspections and observations... basically any form of communication. Show that the company they are working for cares about and is on top of safety, and a culture will follow.
Idea 2: Support from Management
Lead by example and through unwavering support. All safety systems and certification includes having a commitment and support from management. But while it is fine to write down a line in the manual and safety policy, it is still important to back it up with actions.
Managers can be present at safety meetings. They can fill out the FLRA when they get to site in public view. They can be quoted in email updates. They can support employer programs and incentives. Overall, they need to be committed to the program that they are approving.
Idea 3: Incentive Programs
Incentive programs can take many forms. For simplicity we will break it down into two categories: Individual and Group. Incentive programs usually take some tinkering and trial and error to make work. We have seen many program that have been attempted to incentivize employees and complete documentation, typically we find that Group Programs work better then individual ones.
Individual Programs include such ideas as giving out a Gift Card to employees whom complete all of their documentation for the month. While we have seen this work, a couple problems exist. Tracking the documentation for each employee can be difficult and time consuming. Also you create an individual culture where employees take care of safety activities on their own accord and for their own benefit.
Group programs typically have more success. This could include having a pizza day every month if the company reaches its safety performance indicator goals. This type of program allows the employees to support each other, and through peer acknowledgment and discussion can push the non-adopters to participate. The trick with this method is to use performance indicators that do not discourage individuals from reporting near-miss or investigation related occurrences. But rather to support all safety related practices. Also it takes some tinkering with the reward, making sure it appeals to all employees and the culture within your company.
Idea 4: Internal Training
Have you ever loved a low impact day where you get to go for training, not think about work, and get home early at the end of the day. Your employees might like that too.
Orientation is typically seen as a formality at the beginning of a project or job. One that wears off over time and sometimes gets forgotten all together. This is where internal training and updates can come into play. Companies can schedule internal refresher classes in a way that is seen as a benefit to employees. In these classes you can go over safety statistics, common problems identified over the last period, the safety program itself...
The trick with this method is to get management support for a paid training day for employees over certain periods of time. Also to make the day enjoyable for the employees where is does not become a redundant day on the calendar.
You will notice that the ideas listing above are less ideas and more common sense. This is because common sense is really all that you need. Employees inherently want to get home safe, it is just about doing the small things to remind them of what is needed to make that happen. All the small things a company does will add up in the overall safety culture.
To get the assessments filled out, whether you employ one of these ideas, a combination of them, or one of your own, it does not really matter, because the most important thing is that they get finished and that everyone gets home safe at night.
If you have an unique idea of how to develop a safety culture within an organization we would love to hear it, let us know, and we will work to get the idea featured.