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What Place Does Discipline Have in Safety Accountability?


For most people, positive reinforcement works much better than negative punishment. But there are people who just don’t want to follow safety procedures, and discipline needs to be used as a last resort.

Before thinking about discipline, you should have a clear and effective policy in place that outlines what happens if rules are not followed. Each employee should know without a doubt what the consequences will be if he or she refuses to comply. This ensures that your people know what to do and how to do it, and it also gives you what you’ll need if you need to let someone go because of non-compliance.

Many companies have a “three strikes and you’re out” policy, which addresses violations when they occur and issues a warning on the number of failures remaining before discipline is taken. Some companies put employees on unpaid leave if infractions continue beyond a designated level. More serious, intentional infractions, such as disarming a safety device on purpose, call for immediate dismissal.

Be sure to outline your policy in detail so that employees know exactly what you expect and what the results will be if the policy is violated.

photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via photopin cc



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