Safety has always been a major concern for many organisations that wish to get more from their employees. These organisations usually come up with very great safety programs that seek to consolidate their vision of where safety should be. These safety programs usually are very rich in content and touch every aspect of work in the organisation yet after a short while, the program loses momentum and eventually dies out. The question then becomes; “what really happened?” Everything was going smoothly at first, so what actually made the program fail?
1. Lack of Clarity of Direction. Every safety program should have a direction and this direction should not be ambiguous to those it is applicable to. The targeted employees should be made aware and clearly communicated to what requires of them for the program to be successful. Many a time, a safety program is set rolling without the employees knowing what is expected of them. On some occasions too, employees are unaware of the problem the program actually seeks to solve. When this happens, employees become disinterested in the program and feel reluctant to contribute.
2. Lack of leadership. For a safety program to remain significant, the involvement of top management should be clearly seen by all employees. Management should also show commitment by offering leadership. In a situation whereby management are only interested in directing other employees and fail to show involvement, employees lose trust in the program. If it is required by the program for everyone to wear hardhats at a specific location, people in top management should also be seen using the hardhat in those locations. If managers lead, employees have little option than to follow.
3. Responsibilities have to be defined. Every employee should know what is required of them to make the program a success. Responsibilities have to be clearly assigned and line of reporting duly indicated. At any point in time, every employee should know and be ready to act the way it is expected of them.
4. No preferential treatment when an employee goes against the rules. When a rule is broken, punitive actions should follow. This should go for every employee no matter the position. It is when we become soft to certain sections of employees that order is broken.
5. Training of employees should not lack. Employees should be adequately armed to shine under the safety program. This should be in the form of giving them the required training to be able to understand and act safely at any given time. The right safety equipment should be provided at all times and be trained on how to properly use those safety equipments.
6. Encourage employees to report every incidence. Incidence reporting is the bases of accident prevention. When incidence, whether big or small, go unreported, it affects how proactive the safety program can be. Employees should not be made to feel scared to report incidence. They should be made to understand the importance of incidence reporting and how it makes it easy to prevent potential accident.