Every workplace in America should have safety standards in place to prevent occupational illness and injury. For a safety initiative to be truly effective, workers must support these safety policies and procedures, understand why they are important, and follow them every day. However, many business owners struggle with ways to engage employees in workplace safety efforts.
Workplace safety experts suggest the key to worker safety is all in the experience. When employers regard workers as active, involved participants in safety programs instead of problems they need to control, the result is proactive workers who think about safety in a positive way.
Experts recommend that employers carefully analyze the manner in which they are presenting safety programs to employees. They may find there are better ways to elicit a more enthusiastic response. The following are the common avenues of addressing workplace safety and how they can be remodeled to better reach workers and prevent accidents at work.
- Discipline: Using discipline to address non-compliance does not improve workplace safety and can instead create tension and negative feelings among employees. Rather, willing participation is the key to a successful safety initiative as it inspires employees to participate voluntarily instead of operating out of a fear of consequences.
- Meetings: Most workplace safety meetings are treated more as a formality than a purposeful time to review essential safety procedures. Though some safety meetings can be productive and insightful, most are held to essentially “check off the box.”
- Policies and procedures: Rules and procedures have their place. Obviously, some safety policies are non-negotiable. Yet, when workers blindly accept and follow rules for compliance without understanding the reason behind them, they may ignore hazards not included in the procedures.
- Supervision: Many organizations have supervisors designated with overseeing safety and others responsible for overseeing production. This dichotomy tends to create a conflict among workers who are not sure whether to prioritize safety or productivity. Ideally, employers should strive for safe production.
- Training: For workers to really get something out of safety training, it needs to be interesting, engaging, and relatable to their everyday work experience.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Essential Benefits for Injured Workers
South Carolina workers who have suffered an occupational injury or illness are often confused and overwhelmed by the Workers’ Compensation system. Yet if they wait too long to file a claim or visit the wrong doctor, they may jeopardize crucial benefits they need to cover medical bills and lost wages.
At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. our experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers have a proven track record of success filing new benefit claims and appealing denied claims or terminated benefits. Put our knowledge to work for you. Call 803-929-3600 today or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation initial consultation with a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at any of our six office locations. Our attorneys serve residents throughout South Carolina at our offices in Columbia, Charleston, Rock Hill, Aiken, Florence, and Sumter.