Managers Role in Workplace Safety

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Managers have an important role in workplace safety. They have the responsibility to promote safety by dialoging with employees. Managers must also lead by example. A manager who ignores safety cannot expect employees to follow the rules and guidelines. Managers help drive the corporate culture, so it is essential that they embrace the safety program and help shape it.

Promoting and Enforcing Safety Standards

Managers need to promote safety among their employees. There are several methods that managers
can use to promote and enforce safety standards.

Methods:

Involve employees: Ask employees for their ideas on improving safety.

Provide incentives: Hold contests where winners have strong safety records.

Train: On the job training and safety seminars are essential to any safety program.

Improve morale: Bored or unhappy employees are more likely to ignore safety.

Consequences: There should be clear consequences for breaking safety protocol, just likeany other rule. Consider moving from verbal to written warnings.

Elements of a Health and Safety Program

There are four basic elements in every health and safety program. Organizations can expand on these elements to address specific needs in their own programs.

Basic Elements:

Commitment from manager and employee support: Create clear guidelines based on employee input.

An analysis of the worksite: Identify hazards.

Hazard prevention and control: Remove or control hazards.

Training on health and safety: Address the health and safety of all employees.

Responsibilities

Managers, supervisors, and employees are all responsible for workplace safety. A successful workplace program will assign specific responsibilities to individuals. Specific roles and responsibilities will vary with each organization. There are, however, general responsibilities in most companies.

Leadership: Everyone in leadership positions is responsible for communicating expectations, overseeing safety, and training employees.

Employees: All employees need to obey the safety policies, and report unsafe work conditions, accidents, or injuries.

Corporate Culture

Corporate culture plays a large role in the health and safety of employees. Employers need to align health and safety goals with business strategies, and create an environment that supports health and safety. Besides safety guidelines, corporate culture can have a positive impact on employee health. For example, companies have successfully offered incentives to help employees quit smoking or lose weight. A culture that promotes communication about health and safety will both improve the quality of life for employees and save money lost to injuries and sick days.

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