Safety Conversations

Posted by Melissa Hall in #YHSafetyTips, Dec 05, 2018

Whether you work in the office, the factory, or out in the field, it is important to talk about safety to help reduce risks on the job, and ultimately make sure everyone gets home safe and sound.

In order to have an effective safety program, you must have managers who lead by example, worker participation, and a proactive approach to identifying and fixing hazards. Research has shown that if employees believe their supervisors are engaged, they are more likely to be engaged themselves and will have more positive perceptions about their company’s view on safety.

OSHA recommends “Safety Conversations” to open the lines of communication between management teams and workers.

What is a Safety Conversation?
A safety conversation is a brief talk about a specific topic related to safety.


Safety_Conversations

In order to have a successful safety conversation, it is important to foster an environment where workers feel comfortable voicing their concerns and sharing their views. When meeting with workers, remind them that they will not get in trouble for expressing any concerns they may have regarding their safety or health. If necessary, you may have a labor representative present to act as a mediator. Remain open-minded and try to be calm and rational during your conversation. Be sure to state your intentions clearly and explain that you are trying to help everyone avoid injuries while on the job.

Using active listening techniques during your safety conversations will help to build empathy with your workers.


Active_Listening

Ways to Begin Safety Conversations

One way to open a safety conversation involves asking a non-threatening question such as: “If you could address one safety concern, what would it be?”

Other conversation starters include:

  • “I’d like to talk to you about an important topic. Let’s review the safest way to complete this task, to insure you and your team are not at risk of getting hurt.”
  • “Can we speak about what I’m seeing and figure out a better way to execute the task?”
  • “I understand your concerns, and want to make sure nobody is injured – Can we work together to discuss this issue?”

Read OSHA’s complete guide to better safety conversations at OSHA.gov.

OSHA’s BETTER SAFETY CONVERSATIONS GUIDE

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