Central to any safety system in your workplace is going to be getting staff on side through effective communication. Without taking these steps, your efforts to implement effective safety messaging can easily fall flat, while risks to employees go unaddressed.
Faced with these challenges, your only option is to make sure that safety messages are communicated to staff clearly, concisely and effectively.
The first place to look at for your communication strategy is the induction process for new workers. When employees join a company they will inevitably go through all of the safety issues that they need to be aware of when working for that business.
This process is the ideal time to reinforce the safety standards you expect. Gradually, this will lead to a much safer workplace as these practices become ingrained with every new hire.
While this can work for new hires, it is also important to raise awareness in your existing staff who will likely have reinforced beliefs about workplace safety. To address complacency in your employees, make sure you have regular safety updates, for workers. These could be whenever a new law change comes into effect or you begin working with new equipment with updates needed for staff.
In many cases, the only solution to complacency is to take regular action so that bad habits do not become cemented in your workplace.
Another thing to consider is the language your employees are using. Many skilled jobs are in short demand in Australia, with these jobs given preferential treatment in migrant workers. While this is great news for those facing skill shortages, it can also create language barriers, impeding your ability to create safe work places.
In this situation, the only solution is to take the time to ensure that safety messages cross the language barrier, so that all your workers are able to work safely.
Finally, think about non-verbal ways to improve worker safety. Training videos can be a good solution for creating a new level of engagement, while safety signage across your workplace will also offer a small, visual reminder of the hazards faced by your staff.