Safety, whether within your home or at your workplace, should never be compromised with. Never underestimate the power of precaution. Incorporating safety protocol in a workplace is not only the duty, but also the responsibility of the organization and its management. The organization is responsible for the safety and the welfare of the employees as long as they are on the premises of the organization or are on duty for the organization in another place, using the organization's equipment and resources. Sometimes, what happens is the management takes the safety of its employees very seriously, but it is the employees themselves who take it fairly lightly. How then can you make them realize the importance of safety in the workplace?
Holding a safety meeting for employees is one of the most dreaded jobs for the management. People get bored, they don't attend, if they attend they don't pay attention, and all such things conspire during a safety meeting. So, in order to make your safety meeting a grand success, what you need to do is come up with creative and fun ideas to make the meeting seem more interactive and interesting. Avoid the usual slide shows and monotonous routine of having someone give a long speech on workplace safety. Have games, free food, role plays, movies, etc. all highlighting the importance of workplace safety. It will send the message across better.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind about workplace safety is that once people leave a safety meeting, they rarely think about it again. Hence, they need to be given constant reminders about it in every way possible. The best way to do this is to have some humorous posters and pictures regarding safety tips put up all around the office. You can opt for serious and morose ones as well, but they'll appear boring and dull, not to mention slightly frightening, and no one wants to look at an unpleasant picture in the hallway. You can also have a practice of having one safety related joke or anecdote circulated via email to all the employees on a daily basis. It could also be something like a short story with infographics, with a safety related moral. You can also hand out safety manuals and checklists to the employees.
One of the most effective ways to promote, evaluate and improve workplace safety is to have regular mock drills and safety drives. When you conduct a surprise mock fire drill, you get to know a lot of things about the efficiency of the employees in evacuating the building, how quick and how orderly they are, how much do they panic, does the fire equipment really work, etc. You get to draw conclusions about the performance of the whole organization as a team in the process of disaster management and this will help you to make the necessary amendments or improvements in your safety policy.
When you hire a batch of employees into the organization, the first thing that you do is train them according to their job profile. If you want to take workplace safety and its promotion seriously, then you need to train the employees in the various safety techniques as well. Train new employees during their induction and training session and have a separate session for the old employees. Hold workshops, seminars, group discussions, etc. all catering to safety measures, how to use them and how to improve the ones currently being used in your organization.
Have a special department in place to handle safety issues, matters and problems. This team will take care of everything from the enforcement of safety norms, to the checking and evaluation of the various safety equipment that you have in your organization. If you cannot hire a special team to do this job for you, you can always ask your employees to volunteer for the team. They'll get more involved in it and as a result, they'll take it more seriously.
A fun and friendly way to inculcate the importance of safety in the employees is to hold competitions. You can conduct an art competition in which the employees must come up with graphics that represent their idea of safety. You can also hold a treasure hunt of sorts in which the clues are all related to safety techniques that must be followed at the workplace. Another idea is to hold a practical test about the various safety equipment and safety protocol that must be followed in the case of an emergency. Divide your employees into teams for these activities, so you promote safety as well as team spirit.
Promoting safety in the workplace does not have to be a drab and boring job. All it requires is a little bit of creativity and innovation to turn this seemingly boring topic into something interesting and interactive. So try out all the methods given above and make your workplace safe and secure for yourself and your employees.