Establishing a safety culture in your Ag business is simple if you know where to start. The top-down approach is a reliable method because when workers see their leadership values or enforces their safety policy, they are inspired to take on the responsibility of safety on an individual level. Mistakes are less likely to be made in the name of productivity when safety is at the heart of how your teams operate. Workplace safety must be a priority for management as well as for staff if it is to be taken seriously, but safety is and should be communicated as everyone’s responsibility.
Here are three ways you can provide the leadership necessary to encourage a pro-safety workplace.
Create a Safety Culture
An effective corporate safety culture is one that is the product of both individual and group values, attitudes and competencies. Establishing a company-wide commitment to a safety program helps ingrain the importance of a safe working environment. Providing visible leadership in regards to safety is key, including following all safety protocol yourself.
Encourage the empowerment of your team to take responsibility for safety in the workplace, not just of themselves but of their co-workers as well. Safety should be everyone’s responsibility. Furthermore, your workers should know what to do in case of an emergency, since they are most likely to experience and respond in the case of an accident. They should know what to do during and after an incident occurs, how to report the accident, and how the organization will respond. Honest and reliable responses help to foster trust and a lesson-learned mentality in response to a safety incident.
Teach and Preach Safety
If staff are unaware of safety protocols or the possible repercussions they might incur should safety policy be overlooked, they really can’t be blamed for accidents when they do happen. It is up to management to set the stage for an effective safety culture in the workplace. That means providing training when needed and emphasizing the importance of safety awareness and procedures on a day-to-day basis. Show your staff the importance of safety training by participating in training events. Lead by example. Enforce safety policies reliably to show the rules are meant to be taken seriously. If you are consistent with your message, the value of a safe workplace will create a better, more productive work environment on all levels of an organization.
Recognize High Vulnerability and Enforce High Standards
A solid safety culture is built on these key organizational values: strong leadership, high standards and a sense of vulnerability. Constant vigilance and worker empowerment to handle safety issues, should they occur, will help establish effective communication, mutual trust and timely response to safety issues and concerns. Monitor performance on a regular basis and hold those who make mistakes accountable for their errors, but also give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. In the case of an accident, the best way to handle the backlash is to learn from it. While it is the responsibility of corporate leadership to establish effective safety guidelines and procedures, at the end of the day, safety is everyone’s responsibility.
How can Ag 1 Source make your team stronger?
Consider how your teams are building and enforcing a culture of safety in your businesses. For more advice on how to set them up for success, call in the experts with Ag 1 Source.