Conduct safety performance reviews with employees

Training workers about safe practices may not be enough to create a secure workplace. Many employees can develop unsafe habits over an extended period of time if they’re not reminded of safety requirements, so employers may consider providing staff with ongoing safety education and to frequently test their knowledge. In fact, many workers may welcome it.

The benefits of providing safety reviews
According to a poll by social recognition solutions provider Globoforce, the majority of the American workforce value performance reviews. Conducted by research firm MarketTools, the “Summer 2013 Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker” received 708 responses from employees at large companies.

The survey found 57 percent of workers feel their companies’ current review processes are inaccurate in showing their true performance. Sixty-three percent felt this disconnect was the main reason for their dissatisfaction during review time. Those employees who were satisfied with their careers also reported they felt their companies’ review process was accurate.

Employers may want to take advantage of this finding. With safety a primary focus for many companies, providing workers with ongoing training and an ability to receive feedback on their safety performance can encourage employees to stay focused on safety. Optimizing this process is critical for worker satisfaction, and employers may want to consider making frequent safety check-ups a best practice for the organization.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers may want to ensure the person conducting the safety reviews has extensive knowledge of OSHA regulations and the recommended safety procedures.

Employers may designate a safety officer for this task. This person may be in charge of watching the workforce for safety practices, providing employees with ongoing training if issues are found and noting which workers may benefit from additional safety education. A senior employee may be a great choice to be the safety officer, as a more experienced worker often understands the workplace’s safety culture and the challenges staff face regarding safety. It also can be beneficial for employers to create a safety mentoring program to encourage safe practices in time for the safety evaluations.

During the review process, OSHA suggests employers give workers feedback if employees are following the proper safety procedures, such as wearing eye protection around machinery, and encourage employees to speak about any concerns they may have. Many times, workers feel they aren’t able to tell their employer they’ve seen unsafe practices in the workplace. A safety review is the perfect time to bring up these concerns.

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