January 10, 2023

Safer Employees in 3 Easy Steps

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There are a lot of boxes to check when onboarding a new employee - completing a W-2, providing the tools for the job, introducing them to co-workers, and familiarizing them with their work area. Safety training, however, is so much more than a box to be checked. In order to be successful, it must be a culture, a process to which every member of the organization constantly adheres, and an ongoing point of focus.  

Initial safety training for new hires is vital; however, it isn't only about having them sit through a class, presenting them with new safety equipment, or posting flyers, checklists, and various reminders around the workspace. While these are all essential elements, it is the deeper, more granular aspects of safety that equate to a truly safe work environment, some of which your organization may be missing.

1. Implement a Culture of Workplace Safety

Monique Granier, LWCC Safety Services Consultant II, has spent 33 years working with different types of organizations, helping them identify hazards and improve safety. In all those years, she’s discovered what she believes to be the most significant determinant of a company’s safety success.

“The number one thing that I have found,” says Monique, “is that you can train employees and train new hires, but without management support of the program, you're never going to get anywhere.”

That initial training, she notes, is just one piece of a much larger picture. The organizations with the best safety records have achieved buy-in from every team member, from the CEO down. Safety isn’t just something the team does; it is part of the team. In these companies, every employee is mindful of their safety and that of their fellow team members, and their culture allows them to raise concerns when needed.

2. Offer Job-Specific Safety Training

When it comes to a successful safety program, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every organization is different, and every job within that same organization is different. It is vital that employees not only understand the general safety risks and protocols, but also that they are trained on the hazards that are specific to their role.

“Your employees have to be trained on job-specific hazards,” implores Monique. “General training is good for the company, but if an employee isn’t trained on the specific hazards they will encounter, how is it going to help them out in the field?”

3. Assign Safety Mentors

Real-time correction of dangerous safety behavior is among the most effective teaching tools at a company’s disposal. This type of reinforcement of the rules prevents new employees from developing habits that could eventually result in accident or injury.

Monique points out, “If you see an employee doing something unsafe and don’t address it or coach them, they learn that, in a subtle way, the company approves of their approach.”

Supervisors or co-workers who exemplify desirable safety practices should act as mentors, guiding new employees through the appropriate steps and immediately correcting any unsafe practices or behavior at the moment it occurs. This type of training-in-action will instill the proper habits for a safe working environment.

Safety Training Support from LWCC

Studies show that the likelihood of workplace injury is directly correlated with the strength of an organization’s training program. It is also proven that injuries are far more likely to occur within an employee's first year on the job. When it comes to keeping workers safe, there is no substitute for in-depth, in-action training from day one.

LWCC policyholders have the benefit of developing this training with dedicated safety experts on their side. LWCC's Consultants on Call program offers over 125 years of combined expertise and is comprised of experts, like Monique, ready to provide safety resources, guidance, and solutions.  

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