How to promote safety with employees

Updated Oct 22, 2018

Safety FirstKeeping safety in the forefront of your employees’ minds is key to preventing accidents and injuries. But how do you keep this topic as a top concern?

Here are 4 ideas for making safety a priority for your crews.

1. Visual elements

During one of my Landscaper of the Year visits, I met with a landscaper who constantly tried to put the focus on safety.

When employees check in for the day, they pass a board that shows how many days they’ve been accident free. And each day they are successful, the number is increased. They are now close to 500 days. This may sound simple, but people like visual encouragement and see what all of their hard work is going toward.

The owner also placed charts and other information from OSHA on the walls.

2. Toolbox talks

Another aspect of safety training is a regular meeting. You can talk about current jobsites and possible dangers that need to be avoided: For example, give specific examples of PPE they need to wear for each task. You can also use safety guides for meetings.

3. Take it seriously

If you want your employees to value safe practices, you need to show them safety is important to you. If you go to a jobsite, follow the safe techniques you gave them. Actions always speak louder than words.

4. Rewards/punishments

Give employees something to work toward. Set goals and offer rewards for safe practices. You could give prizes, cash bonuses or free lunches to the safest employees each month.

Conversely, if an employee isn’t being safe on the jobsite, call them out. Maybe the first issue calls for a one-on-one meeting. If what they did was a larger issue, maybe you talk to them in front of their crew. Not only are you holding them responsible, but now they see they have also let the team down.

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