One of the ways to measure the effectiveness of a company’s safety program is to evaluate the level of employee buy-in.  Employees at every level need to grasp the program and put it into practice every day, not just during safety inspections.  Below are some practical methods employers can use to ensure the proper amount of employee support for safety.

Start by making supervisors more accountable.  They should be the ones responsible for the regular safety inspections of work areas.  They also need to be responsible for submitting completed inspection forms to the person designated as your on-site safety program coordinator.  If injuries occur because supervisors failed to identify potential hazards during an inspection, then they must be held accountable.

Get line/department workers involved in designating employees to keep an eye out for hazards.  Rotate responsibility among employees for completing a weekly safety check of all equipment in their own departments or work areas.  Make them accountable for presenting their findings to a supervisor.  If a hazard is identified, involve the employee who uncovered it in the process to determine a solution.

Develop an organized method for employees to offer safety suggestions.  Make it easily accessible and easy to use.  Respond to all suggestions on a timely basis and be sure suggestions that are implemented are given recognition in the company newsletter or on the bulletin board.

Narrow down the source of incidents by completing a review of injury trends by department/line.  Use departmental meetings to discuss recurring problems and ways to solve them.

Create a master list that tracks incidents by department/line and display where it is visible to all employees.  Seeing their department/line’s high incident rate publicly displayed will serve as an incentive to focus on safety.

Use your master list to track the most improved department/line each month.  Give the winners some form of public recognition and a prize such as leaving work an hour early or breakfast on the company.

Encourage supervisors to give a five-minute talk about safety during every department meeting.  They should outline how many incidents occurred since the last meeting, where incidents are most prevalent, etc.

Each member of senior management should serve as a member of your company’s safety committee.  They should be required to attend safety meetings each month and take part in any brainstorming sessions to solve safety hazards.  Senior management needs to demonstrate their dedication to helping create the safest work environment possible.  After all, if the persons who run the company don’t care about safety on the job site, why should anyone else?