Employee involvement in saety changes shouldbe initiated as early in the project as possible. When evaluating options to modiy work processesor equipment, ask employees or their opinion. Thenal decision must satisy all regulatory and orga-nizational requirements to ensure a sae work en- vironment, but in many cases, multiple approachescan meet these requirements. Those preerred by employees should receive priority when easible, while also considering cost, timing and other im-portant business needs.
Considering Employee Ideas
Employees must eel that their ideas and opinionsare valued and will be taken seriously. They shouldbe encouraged to generate ideas and express opin-ions regarding workplace saety. When they do so,they must eel that the organization values this in-put and will evaluate and act on it as easible.
When employee ideas are implemented, give theoriginator(s) proper credit and recognition. Whenan employee presents a saety concern or sugges-tion, s/he should receive ollow-up communicationon the status o that concern or suggestion, even i the organization decides not to implement it.
Communication relating to saety must fow reely through all levels o the organization. Saety-related communications must be clear and concise,and employees must understand their responsibili-ties. Explain why saety changes are needed.In addition, employees must be aware o the pro-cess to express a saety concern or to communicatesuggestions or improvement. A simple avenue orcommunication must be present, and employeesmust know whom to contact. The process cannotbe cumbersome or slow.
Sae behavior should be encouraged and re- warded. This can be accomplished using ormal orinormal methods, or a combination o both.
Employees must be treated with respect. Sae-ty-related interactions must preserve personal re-spect, even in disciplinary situations.Leadership support is critical to oster an envi-ronment that supports these actors. This extendsto saety personnel. Employee perceptions aboutorganizational commitment to saety are otenbased on their interactions with saety personnel.Management (including saety personnel) whoeectively involve and engage employees whenreviewing potential workplace modications canmake a signicant dierence in the success o suchprojects (Machles, Bonkemeyer & McMichael,2010; Groover & Spigener, 2008).However, when management and saety per-sonnel do not involve and engage employees, cul-ture change is unlikely (Bolger, 2004). Employeesmay eel that management does not care abouttheir well-being, and may view SH&E proession-als as saety cops who simply implement and en-orce management initiatives and do not truly helpemployees. Employees may comply with saety rules most o the time, but they may believe thatsaety slows them down and makes their jobs moredicult.In organizations with healthy corporate cultures,employees are aware that management (including saety personnel) is genuinely interested in them.In such a setting, employees will respond with in-novative thinking, suggestions and decision mak-ing that can benet the organization (Erickson,2000). A mutual respect will more likely occur when management, including saety personnel,can engage employees.
Management can involve employees in an orga-nization’s saety program in various ways:
•Encourage employees to voluntarily partici
-pate in saety committees and emergency responseteams. Teams should meet regularly and encour-age participants to reely express their ideas andsuggestions. Participants can be assigned roles toincrease their involvement, such as coleading aproject along with a management representative.
•Invite employees to participate with manage
-ment in ormal saety incident investigations,including development and implementation o corrective actions that may aect their job tasks.
•Conduct brainstorming sessions with employ
-ees when developing solutions to identied saety issues or hazards. For example, beore developing a procedure on how to saely perorm a task, gatheraected employees to discuss their perspectives o possible hazards and easibility o solutions.
•Solicit employee ideas and opinions when de
- veloping job hazard analyses, risk assessments andsimilar documents. Ask them to identiy potentialhazards and help develop protective measures.
•Establish a formal employee suggestion pro
-gram that encourages suggestions relating to saety improvements. Whether tangible rewards are parto the program, employees who submit a sugges-tion that is implemented should be recognized ortheir contribution.
•Allow employees to participate in or conduct
workplace saety inspections. Invite them to shareresults in a saety committee meeting, manage-ment meeting or similar venue.
•Involve employees in behavior-based safety
•Hold shift huddle meetings on a daily or
weekly basis and ocus on saety with the entire workgroup. Discuss relevant saety items, but al-low individuals to comment or oer suggestionsregarding their saety in ront o the group or one-on-one ollowing the meeting.
•When evaluating changes to brands/types of
PPE, hand tools or similar items, allow employeesto test samples beore making a nal decision. Forexample, i three dierent types o saety glassesare being considered, obtain samples o all three