Tom Reddon gives us his three steps to improving safety awareness within an organisation.

The mantra is true, there is no such thing as being too safe. For the safety workplaces, this is not just an idiom but a way of life! Nevertheless, many organisations struggle with the basics and do not know where they can start in the hopes of promoting a more safety-focused work culture. The good news is there are a few principles which are essential in starting this initiative. Here are three proven ways to bolster and catalyse safety awareness and enhance the workplace safety culture of any business:

1. Track Hazards

There are many software applications and interfaces that can help any enterprise track hazards. Doing so can identify deficiencies and further help foster improvement in critical safety operations. Tracking hazards is an essential component of bolstering workplace safety because they can sometimes isolate facets of your material handling operation that are vulnerable. On some occasions, these vulnerabilities often feature a quasi-stealth level of incidence. Nevertheless, this does not mean that these hazards are any less dangerous. According to Ergonomics Plus, proactive organisations identify issues before they create costly problems and injuries. Tracking hazards are one of the most proactive measures one can take. Generally, safety champions are one step ahead of the game and have a tendency to amend these issues before they occur. Tracking hazards is a great start in doing so.

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2. Define Safety Responsibilities

The first step to enhancing the workplace safety culture is defining the requirements and rudiments in achieving such a feat. In the event of an emergency or incident, a response and action plan can protect personnel from potentially deadly situations. Therefore defining safety responsibilities and the implementation of recovery policies and procedures can serve as a narrative to handle the most unique circumstances. Much can be determined by defining safety responsibilities, a chain of command is established and imperatives are streamlined to combat the effects of any given peril. Defining safety requirements is tactical and strategic and a sure-fire way to promote workplace safety and a culture focused on employee welfare.

3. Encourage Communication

Communication is essential. This can never be encouraged enough. Not only does communication afford workers the ability to effectively articulate the presence of danger, it also enhances and improves trust between employees and management. In dynamic environments and challenging settings that often accompany material handling operations, miscommunications can lead to drastic consequences. Effective communication can host a lot of wonderful benefits. For example, when workers know how to work safely, they establish continuity. This can in turn lead to the development of productive methods to complete any assignment, faster and better. As a result, these tactics can be documented into the form of best practices or suggested operating guidelines. Thus, the safety culture is further fostered. Efficient and effective communication leads to continuous improvement, leading to better and safer ways to complete any project or initiative. As a result of fluid communication, workers are more situationally aware in the wide range of material handling applications.

Health and Safety Consultancy

Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon.

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