For employees in the Energy and Utilities sector, a strong workplace safety culture is of vital importance. It increases the efficiency of ongoing operations, manages risk, optimizes control systems, streamlines processes, enhances the employer brand, creates trust. Ultimately, it helps to prevent injuries and accidental deaths.
In fact, a recent SmartMarket Report states that an improved safety culture decreases reportable injuries by 10%, increases the ability to contract new work by 10%, and increases the ability to retain staff by 18%.
Especially now, in the time of coronavirus, 35% of deskless workers say their employer didn’t provide adequate training or direction on how to perform their job during the pandemic.
A strong safety culture along with an effective tool to deliver your messages about safety have never been more important or more in demand by your employees.
Creating a Healthy Safety Culture
As published by the Health and Safety Commission, a safety culture is “the product of people's values and beliefs, their behavior, and their commitment to your health and safety programs.”
But how does this concept reveal itself in our daily working lives? Safety culture is the group effort of an organization to keep and maintain safety and prevent injuries on a day-to-day basis. This includes measures taken, the involvement of your employees, the communication concerning safety, and the degree of importance that it is given within an organization.
The responsibility to uphold and drive this culture has become an integral part of management functions, but it must be cultivated by every single employee. While the C-level is responsible for setting a framework and providing the tools needed, internal communicators are responsible for implementing the processes and ensuring everyone is aware of the rules and regulations in the workplace.
To begin creating an efficient safety culture, the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the US department of labor) recommends that you:
- Enforce accountability: Create a process that holds everyone accountable for being visibly involved, especially managers and supervisors. They are the leaders who promote positive change.
- Provide multiple options: Provide different options for employees to bring their concerns or issues forward. There should be a chain of command to ensure that supervisors are held accountable for being responsive.
- Report, report, report: Educate employees on the importance of reporting injuries, first aids, and near misses. Prepare for an increase in incidents if currently there is under-reporting. It will eventually level out.
- Rebuild the investigation system: Evaluating the incident investigation system is critical to making sure investigations are conducted in an effective manner. This should help you identify the primary causes of accidents and incidents.
- Build trust: When things start to change in the workplace, it's important to keep the boat from rocking. Building trust will help everyone work together to see improvements.
- Celebrate success: Make your efforts public to keep everyone motivated and updated throughout the process.
In poor safety cultures, only 60% of workers are willing to report unsafe conditions in the workplace, compared to 95% in organizations with an excellent safety culture.
Successful change requires regular, facility-wide communication about health and safety topics. An internal safety communication process increases awareness about such topics and transfers knowledge that empowers your people to be successful.
Staffbase customers managed the coronavirus crisis with an employee app by:
- Sending push notifications for crucial, time-sensitive announcements.
- Creating trusted global and regional news feeds.
- Sharing public information from relevant sources (the World Health Organization, government agencies, etc.).
- Building directories of important emergency contacts.
- Informing employees about proper hygienic practices.
- Providing dedicated pages for crucial information.
- Sharing internal guidelines on national and international travel.
- Activating an acknowledgement function to ensure important information gets read.
- Localizing specific messaging to targeted groups.
- Providing structured feedback channels.
- Distributing forms for submitting employee questions.
- Opening article publishing for both top-down and peer-to-peer information sharing.
- Posting videos and photographs showing useful tips for productively working from home.
- Sharing FAQs that free communicators from time-consuming emails and phone calls.
- Publishing protocols for when and how to report to a medical point person in the event of illness.
Here’s a sneak peek of our guide, 10 Ways to Boost Safety Culture with an Employee App🚨
1. Share your company’s safety vision and show that the issue is important to management
When it comes to safety culture, everyone should act in concert concerning goals and objectives. This means that although leaders should communicate their commitment to safety through their actions, every employee should be empowered to take part in the safety culture. Consider asking for C-Suite buy-in with a short written or video message, sharing photos of site visits, or upholding transparency with easily accessible external audits.
2. Make emergency contacts easy to find
Split your safety process into clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Assign these tasks and make it easy for everyone to find the right contact person in case of emergencies and safety incidents. Leveraging an employee app allows your employees to walk around with an active directory in their back pockets.
3. Share site- or team-specific safety messages
Share your local safety vision, local key policies, goals and measures—and target content in order to limit the information employees receive and show them what's currently relevant to them. An advanced employee app like Staffbase will allow you to define user groups and provide them with relevant content.That
Download the full guide to continue learning how you can boost your safety culture with an employee app.
Read more about employee communication apps:
- Employee Apps: 8 Steps for Finding the Best
- Employee Communication Apps: 10 Benefits of a Mobile Comms Platform
- Internal Communication: You Need to Plan a Better Strategy for 2021
- How Spark Power Uses an Employee App to Integrate Culture After Acquisitions
- Why energy and utilities companies choose Staffbase as their employee communications platform