You may have heard on the radio recently WorkSafe's new "Use your Mouth" adverts which aim to get New Zealand workers talking about health and safety issues in their workplace.
Traditionally workers may feel that speaking up is equivalent to "dobbing" someone in for doing things wrong. However this culture needs to change. "Using your mouth" is something simple that everyone can do but it can have a large impact on the workplace safety. A worker can spot a potential issue such as their colleague not wearing their safety gear correctly - and tell them; a team can have a quick chat every morning to talk through potential risks and find solutions to minimise them.
Workers need to feel they are being heard. So it is important for managers to be listening too. The environment must make it easy to discuss the good and the bad, openly and honestly. The way you communicate can help show that keeping people safe and well at work is a priority.
As a manager you can foster a "use your mouth" environment by
- Holding talks where the risks are located if possible. Have a talk at their work site; encourage a conversation on what they see as their risks- use it as a discussion starter;
- Inviting ideas on how Health and Safety could be improved and implementing them if possible;
- Discussing changes and new developments, what new systems, equipment etc you might be putting in place;
- Recognising positive behaviours or results. These could be rewarded;
- Telling stories rather than explaining why you are doing something based on statistics.
"Using your mouth" can lead to several benefits, including;
- lower accident rates;
- a more positive health and safety climate;
- greater awareness of workplace risks; and
- better control of workplace risks.
To listen to the radio ads, take a quiz or find out about more tips on how to encourage people to talk about health and safety in the workplace visit the "Use your Mouth" section of the Worksafe website.
Siteapp allows you to create checklists. Set-up a simple checklist to ensure you have covered all topics at the morning chat, including new procedures, risks, new people on site etc. Just make sure that your workers "use their mouths" to identify their Health and Safety concerns. Call now to find out how Siteapp can help you and your workers start talking about safety.