Workplace safety is something that requires continual inspection, suggestions, and improvements. While employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe work environment, fostering a culture where employees feel comfortable reporting potential hazards can make the difference between a safe workplace and an unsafe one.
Below, we discuss how to remove some of the most common barriers that employees face when reporting work hazards.
Provide the Right Training
First and foremost, employers have a responsibility to train employees on identifying workplace hazards and the importance of reporting them to management. Such training should include information as to what defines a hazard, what types of unsafe conditions should be reported, who the hazard should be reported to, and what to expect after reporting a work hazard. Employees should also know that they won’t face repercussions for reporting, either.
Make It Quick and Easy
The reporting process should be as quick, simple, and easy as possible. If reporting a work hazard is a task that is time-consuming, takes a worker away from their work tasks, requires excessive paperwork, or has to go up many layers of management, it can deter people from reporting at all.
Many employers try to motivate employers and supervisors to improve workplace safety by offering incentives for team members that report as few workplace hazards and injuries as possible. While this may be a good idea in theory, these types of incentives can actually discourage employees from coming forward to report hazards. Other incentives may be put in place that, for instance, incentivize workers to enroll in safety courses.
Allow Several Reporting Methods
Every worker feels comfortable reporting things differently. To make reporting hazards easier for all, it’s important for employees to allow several reporting methods. Some examples may include reporting apps, photos from a cell phone, suggestion boxes, or a call-in number. Employees should also feel comfortable enough to go up to their supervisor and report the hazard personally.
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