Top 6 Tips For Supervisor and Employee Safety

Employee safety should be at the forefront of any business and it is up to everyone to make his or her workplace the safest it can be. There are many well-documented ways an employee can do his part in hazard prevention, but what about if you are a Supervisor?

What if you are a supervisor and you need your staff to become conscious about safety requirements? What if you are new to the supervisor role and don’t know how to build a connection and dialogue with your staff about safety in the workplace?

Here are 6 great ideas any supervisor can use to put safety at the forefront of your workplace.

1) Build Relationships With Your Staff: Supervisors should get to know your staff on a personal level. We suggest asking for suggestions, feedback or opinions on workplace topics. This will allow employees to feel like they are important and feel included on decisions that could affect them. This will increase morale and increases positive relationships between supervisors and employees. Another way to do this is by following through with promises that are made to employees. Failing to do so makes the employees feel unimportant and could disrupt lines of communication in the future.

2) Address Hazards Quickly: If your organization has formal reporting and identification material for hazards, employees may feel like they need to discuss safety concerns with supervisors. Supervisors need to take this seriously and take the employees opinions into consideration. Supervisors should also update employees as soon as any new safety equipment or policy is implemented. This will gain trust with the employees and will grow the lines of communication.

3) Grow Safe Habits: Supervisors should acknowledge and possibly reward extra attention to safety. However, this is sometimes not always as easy to spot as we may think. An employee missing safety glasses is a lot easier to spot then someone who has to correct another employee’s mistakes. Using Safety Data Sheets and other formal safety documentation is a good way to keep track of the performances of employees when a supervisor is not always watching.

4) Complete Routine Safety Inspections: Full formal safety inspections take lots of time that is not always available when it is needed. Completing a quick safety check on a routine schedule will allow you to catch issues early and stop them from growing. Asking employees simple questions such as “Any safety issues?” or “Can we do anything to make your job safer?” are good ways to start a dialogue. Employees will feel like they have the ability to openly communicate issues when they arise.

5) Respond Positively to Workplace Safety Issues: When reports are made about issues and incidents in the workplace, it is important to look at the positive of the issue and not focus on blame. Focusing on blame will make the employees feel that if they do report an issue, it may hurt someone else. A supervisor should respond to an issue with a response such as “Thank you for bringing it to my attention; let’s figure out a way to improve this for next time.”

6) Make Safety A Top Priority In Every Decision: Every decisions made in a workplace will affect several people. Supervisors need to consider who a decision is effecting directly and indirectly. Decisions such as maintenance on a machine, amount of hours worked and speed of service are all decisions that should have safety in mind when making a final decision.

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