In order to know if your safety program is working, you’ve got to measure it. As we conclude our discussion about behavior-based safety, we’re going to take a look at what goes into measuring the effectiveness of your safety programs and how to communicate losses and achievements to your workers.
How Do You Measure Safety?
While the injury rate, in many cases, is a good way to measure your success with safety over time, there are other factors you can look at (like participation in specific training programs or the display of knowledge and new skills, employees showing improvement in safety compliance) to determine how successful your safety programs really are.
Measuring safety will vary from industry to industry and from job to job. For example, a construction company may measure ladder or scaffolding injuries while an HVAC company may measure electrical injuries.
Measurement Creates Goals
You can use goals to incentivize workers to think more about safety. A “This workplace has been injury free for __ days!” board is a great way for workers to see and be reminded of goals and how they’re doing. This is also another aspect of safety that requires strong leadership. Goals should be communicated and celebrated, when accomplished, by the supervisors and managers in a workplace.
For workers, safety goals also increase their participation in the program. This allows them to have an active role in the safety of themselves and their fellow workers. This is a great example of how having a positive work culture can help.
Self inspections can serve as a good framework for measurement, and also provide a basis for incentives.
Just as your leaders should be celebrating wins with your staff, they should also be addressing issues and communicating corrective behavior when needed. Negativity should be avoided and a last resort, but you want workers to know and understand what the expectations are and the ramifications for non-compliance and what should be done differently next time. When workers feel like they’re a part of a team working toward a common goal (safety), and know that accountability is in place to help the team reach their goals, they’ll be much more likely to be on board with the safety program and feel ownership in the program.
Too Many Incentives
As an organization, you want to celebrate wins and encourage safety in any way that you can, but you want to be careful of over-incentivizing your staff to the point where the reward begins to overshadow the goal. What we mean is that you don’t want workers trying to look good on paper by not recording injuries, in order to receive a bonus of some sort. Keep reinforcing the true purpose of the program, and make sure your incentives are appropriate.
In our month-long discussion about behavior-based safety we’ve taken a look at the most important characteristics organizations need to have in order to be successful.
Do you think your organization could benefit from behavior-based safety but are unsure of how to get started? Give us a call at 864-905-7835 and we’ll talk.