Workers safety promotion and participation
Worker behaviours demonstrating safety capability include promoting and engaging in work health and safety (WHS) programs and initiatives.
Workplaces are safer when everyone communicates and contributes to WHS knowledge. Workers should be encouraged to engage in WHS by working together to identify hazards and risks, talking about WHS concerns, and collaborating to find solutions.
Employers should encourage workers to stay informed about WHS activities by sharing your vision, genuine interest, and enthusiasm for WHS and wellbeing. Acknowledge their efforts when workers share their knowledge or participate in activities that show commitment to a safer workplace.
Share WHS information and knowledge with workers. Create formal and informal opportunities for them to engage and participate in WHS activities.
To support workers to engage with WHS:
- involve them in WHS planning. Get input on hazards, risks and solutions from people who understand and perform the work
- promote WHS programs, initiatives and information via signs, posters, notice boards and newsletters
- ask workers how you can help them stay informed and engaged about safety. Would they prefer health and safety representatives (HSRs) or a health and safety committee to represent them, or a less formal process that involves them by communicating and consulting directly with the leadership team?
Support motivated workers to be involved in the organisation’s WHS efforts with regular meetings to discuss safety initiatives. Recognise achievements and the benefits to the business when teams work together to make safety a priority at work.
Identify and support workers who are enthusiastic and look for ways to improve WHS. Recognise and acknowledge their contribution to a safer workplace.
Lead by example and encourage workers to engage in and support WHS efforts:
- wear personal protective equipment and follow safe work procedures
- participate in safety training with your workers
- hold regular toolbox talks about safety and provide workers with opportunities to join in
- stay up to date on WHS issues relevant to your business by joining a safety network group or leadership program to learn from others. Share your learnings with your team
- recognise and reward good WHS practices.
Alignment between workers and organisational values results in a culture with positive relationships, high morale, trust, commitment, and engagement. Through regular and meaningful consultation, workers will be assured that WHS is a priority and is taken seriously. Workers are more likely to be proactive and engage in WHS programs and initiatives where safety is valued.
Encourage and support workers to be self-motivated to engage in WHS at work. Look for opportunities to get them involved in WHS activities and decision-making.
Foster an environment where WHS is a normal, standard practice in your business. As a leader, consider the way you speak about safety, respond to safety issues, and how you involve others in managing WHS at work. Change the culture so that being involved in WHS is an expectation of all staff, not just those with a specific safety role.
A good safety reporting process will encourage workers to take action to speak up and act on WHS issues. The Safety fundamentals toolkit has resources to help improve reporting, such as the Hazard/incident report (DOC, 0.07 MB) and Tips for investigating workplace incidents factsheet (PDF, 0.48 MB). Share these with your workers.
- Promote WHS using signs, posters, a notice board dedicated to WHS or suggestion box to encourage workers to be active in WHS.
- Talk to your workers regularly about safety to engage them to think about WHS and the benefits for them and their co-workers.
- Consider a recognition program for workers who actively promote WHS and participate in initiatives.
- Involve workers in a review of your reporting process. Encourage them to look for ways to improve and implore and acknowledge and thank workers when they act and speak up about WHS issues.
View the Resources page for information and tips on how to improve your systems and processes to build your safety capability including prioritising organisational safety, importance of consultation, representation and participation, and understanding your legal obligations.
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