10 ways to boost your health & safety culture

1) Put safety first, and mean it! Encourage employees to speak up through a few different channels. Have monthly meetings, do management drop in’s, have an anonymous letterbox, or get a whiteboard where people can jot down their thoughts.

2) Make sure the manager is on the floor regularly and chatting to employees. This creates a nice buzz and encourages two-way channel of communication.

3) When new employees start, give them a proper safety induction.

4) Set the rules, then stick to them. Normalisation of deviation can sneak up on you, and you need to make sure that your employees follow the H&S legislation. It’s there for a reason.

5) Recognise safe behaviour. Positive reinforcement is essential in building safe habits. Throw some success stories or best practice examples on the wall in the canteen and make sure everyone knows what a safe behaviour is.

6) Avoid blaming the employees. Learn to learn from accidents and near misses.

7) Build safety into the daily to do’s, make sure employees have the time and resources that they need to carry out their work in a safe manner.

8) Introduce toolbox talks. A toolbox talk is a short informal discussion that focuses on a specific safety issue. Add a toolbox talk to all of your team meetings and brush up on workplace H&S regularly.

9) Make a H&S notice board. Split it into news/ thoughts/ feedback and whatever else you think should be on there. This will show that the organisation takes health and safety seriously and that they care about the opinions and welfare of their employees.

10) Make sure that there are people from all levels of seniority on the H&S board. This way you make sure that all concerns and risks are covered, from HR to production to marketing and through to managing director.