Site Safety – Employee Engagement is Essential

Site Safety – Employee Engagement is Essential

20th April 2017

As part of an effective safety management system (SMS), guidance from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires that companies strive for continual improvement in order to improve both systems and safety.  This means embracing new safety features as and when they become available but getting your employees to embrace them can be quite a challenge.  This is why employee engagement is so vital when it comes to health and safety in the workplace. 

Any new safety measures that are implemented without sufficient warning may disrupt work habits and create friction between workers and management.  Considerate change is necessary in order to successfully implement new features, rules and procedures in the workplace so that the changes represent an improvement for everybody on site. 

When considering the introduction of new safety procedures it’s important to consult every employee who will be affected by the change.  This will give you the opportunity to find out if workers feel that the new measures or procedures will have an adverse effect on how they carry out the job.  It will also have the added bonus of allowing you to discover whether the proposed change could introduce any additional hazards or risks.  The involvement of the workforce as a whole is a fundamental requirement when adopting new procedures or designing new systems. 

Close communication is the name of the game when it comes to encouraging employee involvement.  Employee consultation will be pretty worthless unless every employee is included in the process – otherwise, you’ll just be ticking the right boxes which can lead to employee dissatisfaction, low morale or a general disinclination to support management decisions.  Demoralised workers tend to lack pride in their work and may even undermine the public reputation of the organisation that employs them.  This will impact negatively on work quality, productivity and, ultimately, profitability.

Keeping your employees onside is an essential aspect of maintaining an engaged workforce.  When considering change (especially in safety procedures on construction sites), make sure that the tools and procedures that you use don’t become a detriment to your organisation (and therefore become a risk themselves).  Identify any such risks and make sure that both time and effort is devoted to any changes, keeping all staff fully informed every step of the way.

Involving the workforce in any plans for change means that they are far more likely to accept any changes carried out without problems.  Workers who can see that you are implementing changes for their benefit will feel valued and will experience a greater level of job satisfaction.  This in turn will result in the workforce enjoying good morale and doing all they can to ensure that the changes have the desired effect.  It’s better to spend more time on the planning stage when it comes to change so that once the change takes place, everybody on site will be on board and adapt easily to the changes.  Your employees are the b read and butter of your company so their support is crucial for a successful business and to ensure productivity and profitability.