By The American Concrete Pipe Association,

Not a participant of the ECA Safety forum? Want to get involved? We meet on the 1st Wednesday of every month, 11:00 a.m. at the ECA offices. If you can’t make it in person please feel free to phone in. Our minutes and handouts are posted on our website. See you at the next meeting.

Have you ever wished you could get your employees to WANT to work safely? Wondered why they don’t participate in meetings or don’t watch what they are doing? Are you looking for the magic bullet you could use to get the right safety culture at your plant? Well, the good news is that the bullet is available and it’s relatively cheap, too. It’s you!

Safety Culture

You can develop a safety culture that ensures that your employees will pay more attention, think before they act, and work more safely every day. You just need to focus on a few fundamental steps to start the process. Let’s look at them.

Create a Vision

First, and most important, to set a goal. Do you want zero incidents? No Lost Time Injuries? Everyone wears their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? Whatever your goal, create a statement that describes it and put it in front of everyone at your plant.

For instance, one company set a Vision of “Zero 4 Life.” That was further defined as – zero cuts, bruises, or injuries- period. This is simple, easy to remember, and a solid goal to shoot for. The key is to make the goal concise and promote it in all you do.
Then you…..

Live it
Just like it says “walk the talk,” don’t expect others to believe or follow it if you don’t.

Talk it
Put your vision at the forefront of every conversation and in every meeting. Your employees, including supervision, are only going to believe you mean it if they hear it from you frequently.

Expect it
Everyone in your organization needs to be accountable for what they do. If you want 100% wearing of PPE, then no one can be allowed to walk around without theirs on.
If you want zero injuries, every incident must be investigated to see why it happened and what can be done to prevent it from occurring again.

Be open
Listen to others as they make suggestions on how to improve your plant to make it safer.To change the culture anywhere, it’s important that employees feel comfortable in coming to you with their ideasonhowtomake itbetter.

Show you care
Be passionate. Morally we have no right to allow our employees to get hurt, so we need to let them know that we don’t want to hurt them. Encourage, congratulate and thank them for their efforts every day.

Stay the Course
Be patient; it’s going to take time. This isn’t a “flavor of the month” program. It is an attitude and a belief.Employees will need to see it day after day before they begin to come onboard.

Will these steps take some effort and time? Yes they will, but the result will be tremendous.You will not only have safer employees, but you’ll lower your costs and improve your productivity. Don’t believe it?Try it and see.