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How employers can create a better safety culture

Every business owner in Illinois who wants to create and maintain a safety-minded culture in the workplace should consider five tips, all given below. Following them can help reduce the number of workplace injuries, which means improved productivity, employee morale and employee retention. Employers can also enjoy stronger branding and a more positive image, so everyone benefits.

Safety is an organizational value that can only be championed by those in leadership positions: employers, site managers, safety coaches and so on. Affirming that leadership is the first tip. The second tip is for these leaders to conduct an anonymous safety survey of its employees. They should ask what employees know of corporate safety policies, what their expectations are regarding safety and what their opinion is regarding their own duties.

Supervisors can then hold a pre-shift huddle to get employees to open up, without fear of punishment, about any hazardous equipment, unsafe procedures and near-miss injuries that they have encountered. Not everyone feels comfortable speaking up in a large group, so these hurdles can be supplemented with one-on-one discussions.

It's important to show employees that their perspective is being valued. This should be emphasized even during the safety training process. When workers have a clear process for identifying and eliminating hazards, they will begin to actively participate in these safety programs.

There is no way to completely prevent on-the-job injuries, though. Workers can get into accidents through their own fault or through a co-worker's negligence, not necessarily the employer's. In such cases, victims might still be reimbursed for their medical expenses and lost wages thanks to the workers' compensation program. Consulting with an experienced attorney may likewise be helpful.

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