4 Ways to Teach Your Employees the Importance of Safety Compliance

Safety compliance is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also essential to meeting the standards set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It can also reduce the risks of a major workplace injury or illness and prevent accident-related shutdowns. But no matter how much personal protective equipment (PPE) you buy or how many safety manuals you produce, none of it matters if you don’t teach your employees why it’s crucial to follow the rules. Here are four ways to make the message stick and improve safety compliance.

Improve Your Training

One of the easiest ways to improve safety compliance is to develop a better training program. Employees need step-by-step instructions and hands-on practice, not just a general safety talk. Have them inspect, maintain, and dispose of PPE, as well as practice putting it on and taking it off. Talk about each item in your safety plan and why it exists. Encourage feedback, and provide periodic retraining.

Keep It Simple

A massive, hard-to-read safety document doesn’t do anyone any good. Streamline your safety guidelines and connect them to progressive disciplinary measures. Focus on behaviors, telling employees what to do and disciplining them for not doing it, rather than retaliating against employees who are injured on the job.

Make It Engaging

Be careful not to make your safety policies seem draconian. It’s vital to set up and maintain an open line of communication. Employees are your front-line eyes and ears, and they can bring hazards or compliance issues to your attention. But they won’t do that if they’re afraid of reprisal. Also, try to meet people where they are. If someone isn’t following your safety protocols, find out why. Maybe they find the PPE uncomfortable, or feel like it interferes with their work. These issues can often be addressed, making it easier for employees to comply.

Get Management Buy-In

Employees tend to follow what managers do, not what they say. Make sure everyone in a leadership role is following the safety plan every time. Whether walking the floor or helping an employee solve a problem, managers shouldn’t skimp on safety measures.

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