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Five Ways to Increase Safety Engagement

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Engagement in safety culture is something that is challenging for the best of us. Wouldn't it be great if you had some quick ideas to kickstart your engagement in safety culture? If you are able to put even one of these tips into play at your workplace, you will be on your way to improving the culture of safety in your organization.

So, lets dive in to these tips!

Tip #1 - Provide treats!

You heard me- everyone likes a little treat. Food is a great way to get people engaged and on the same page. Think of the last time someone brought in a box of doughnuts for the worksite or office? Did everyone stay away from the doughnuts or did everyone descend on them like they hadn't eaten in hours! I know I am part of the latter group. Sharing food as a group is fantastic for developing and maintaining culture. It creates a commonality amongst the group of people. Now you can start talking about safety while everyone is on the same page about the food. Sometimes the smallest things can bring people together like nothing else.

Tip #2 - Reward Positive Safety

Furthermore, rewards work wonders as well. Jumping off of tip #1, the reward doesn't have to be big to be meaningful and impactful. To someone that really likes coffee, a $5 gift card to the local coffee shop can mean so much for a job well done. Also, recognize and reward the little things as well! If you catch someone in the act of doing something safe, or even answering a safety question right in a crewtalk meeting, praise it! It may also cause people around them to get jealous and decide to do something to get recognition as well... ;)

"People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards." – Dale Carnegie

Tip #3 - Make it personal

Personalizing safety makes it real for them. If employees are thinking that safety is just a program or a bunch of rules to obey at work, you will not get true buy-in. If you make your safety standards relatable to the individual, adherence to the 'rules and regulations' will be that much easier. For example, if you see something unsafe, ask if they would let their family member or loved one do that action, knowing what they know about safety. The answer will usually be that they wouldn't want them doing it!

When conveying new rules or refreshing existing ones, try using 'I' statements. Here's how you can change a rule to an 'I' statement.

"Steel Toed boot required in the warehouse" changes to "I always wear my steel toed boots in the warehouse"

Tip #4 - Have a common goal

Goals that get measured get talked about. Talking about safety consistently helps keep everyone pushing for the same common goals. There should be goals that are long term (example: A 5% reduction in lost time incidents for the year) and some short term goals as well (example: 5 good catch reports submitted this week).

Tip #5 - Spice it up with competition

Finally, a bit of competition never hurt anyone. I get it, some people aren't very competitive- so how do you get this to work? Everyone has some competitive spirit in them, and it can be sparked easily. Speaking as one of these non-competitive types, I can buy in when I am not singled out, but am part of a team. It is also easier for people when they are already doing the action, but we just want to amp it up a bit. I did this with our fire drills. We already were going to do them, there was no choice. But what I did is made it a competition between departments or shifts. It's amazing how you can better your response time when there is a little friendly competition.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

Changing or improving safety culture does not change overnight. Instead it takes small and consistent steps to move forward in culture building. Make it fun! Enjoy the process and keep up the safety.

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