“Okay, folks. It’s time for our annual safety training…” In the typical workplace, those two words are met with one of two responses: eye rolling or absolute glee since a worker can sit there, tune out and eat donuts, pastries or whatever free food accommodates the hot coffee options.
Make Safety a Part of Your Company Culture by Making Training a Part of the Norm
In an environment where serious accidents, injuries or poisoning can cause serious or even lethal side effects, it’s important that your company culture strikes a delicate balance. Workers should live in that middle-ground between working with a calm, conscientious ethic (in other words, not scared to death that unchecked radiation is a threat around every corner), but without being so laissez–faire that people get lacsidaisical about industry-standard safety practices.
The reality is that regular industrial safety training is integral to the health, safety and well-being of your employees.
Here are some tips to help you make safety training a part of the normal work day:
Designate a Radiation Safety Officer and a Designated Safety Officer. Each of these titles require specialized training outside of the workplace, as well as certification. These are the people who hold the space for your company’s Safety First Culture and they should also set the tone. Their presence in and around the workers will help you out in two ways.
First, they remind the employees that safety is an important part of everything they do. Having the eyes of “safety professionals” watching them on a routine should serve as a constant reminder, preventing routine work from dulling their senses and attention to important safety practices and protocol. That being said, the Safety Officers in both capacities (these roles should be held by separate individuals unless you have a very small company), should never assert a sense of fear or hyper-authority.
Secondly, your radiation safety officer and designated safety officer will be able to spot unconscious worker habits, storage techniques, housekeeping issues, etc., that pose a potential threat so the situation can be rectified before an accident takes place. You safety officers are also your liaison to the industry safety standards at large keeping your company relevant and updated on a regular basis.
Offer CPR & First Aid Training For All
CPR and first aid trainings are very affordable, especially when compared with the costs associated with Worker’s Compensation or a law suit. Many companies make the mistake of only training the lead managers or team leaders – all of whom could be potential absent, out of the field, away from the warehouse, etc. when their training is needed the most.
Instead, invest in Red Cross or other reputable CPR & First Aid instructors to come to your place of work. Pay your staff to come in on the weekends – offered on a quarterly basis – and make it a job requirement. Not only are your employees safer on a day-to-day basis, they feel invested in and will unconsciously elevate their own attention to safety details.
Host Every Friday “Tailgate” or Water Cooler Safety Meetings
Each Friday, splurge on bagel, fruit plates and coffee and have managers hose their own versions of “tailgate” or “water cooler” safety meetings. Ideally, these meetings should never be more than 20-minutes long and safety topics should rotate from the super important stuff (ALARA), to the common sense stuff (wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for particular tasks). Making the meetings a weekly event is a smart way to keep safety topics fresh in your employee’s minds because:
- Regular attention to safety breeds a safer company culture. When the company focuses the spotlight on safety every single week, it cultivates a “safety culture” amidst the employees and personnel. This makes safety a given, rather than some “have to do it” nuisance – which is often an attitude that trickles down from the top, rather than the other way around.
- Topics never grow stale. A rotating menu of safety topics keeps things fresh; a vast improvement on attending different versions of the same, big, annual safety meeting.
- Information is more digestible. By keeping the meetings short, focused and to the point, the information is more digestible and has a much better chance of sticking. Come up with small incentives to get employees to participate, do well on “pop quizzes” or for acting out key roles. Even $5 gift cards to a local coffee shop will suffice.
Is your company doing all it can to create a healthy Safety Culture with regular industrial safety trainings? If not, do what it takes to whip that part of your company into shape. You never know, it could just safe a life.
If keeping your employees safe requires radiation shielding or specialized radiation-proof clothing, contact us here at Lancs Industries to learn how our products keep worker safety at the forefront.
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