Your only limits are the limits of your imagination. Be creative. Decide what your message is, possibly “If you See it, Say it” or something about speaking up when there are concerns. I recently heard a speaker suggest “I Pee Clearly Now” as a slogan for a hydration program. Come up with a good one that is easy to say, easy to remember, and fits your culture.
Use all existing channels of communication to get the message across. Take a photo of the employee with the best safety record and distribute it to all locations for their bulletin board with quotes of how he or she operates safely on a daily basis. Ask employees what is important to them. If an employee says his family is why he works so hard, take a picture of him at home with his family. Blow it up into a poster and put it on the wall in the shop or by the time clock with a quote from him and a line about why we work safely. If it’s a sports car or a beach house, blow that up into a poster to keep it interesting. Rotate the posters to keep employees looking. Most people like to see their own name and their own picture being recognized at work.
Put the safety message on employees’ paychecks. Prominently display company or department safety awards. When calling another location to check on results, ask about safety. Include safety in recruiting ads, job descriptions, in the new employee orientation, in management and employee training, in the employee handbook, in company newsletters… If you do not have a company newsletter, create one or start a safety newsletter.
At one of Eaton Corporation’s locations I saw spanking new, highly desirable gas grill positioned at the entrance to the employee break room with a suggestion box on top of it. They track the suggestions, and the employee with the suggestions that have the largest impact on scrap reduction, quality improvement, safety, etc., gets the grill. It’s a great incentive to think about ways to improve. The grill cost about $700, and the suggestions netted tens of thousands of dollars in one year.
Create a logo for your safety program and use it along with a set template for your safety communications. You want everyone to instantly recognize a safety related message. Hold a logo contest with your employees and their families, and recognize the winner and publish all submissions in your safety newsletter.
I heard of one company that gave their employees safety glasses to take home. They made the point that safety is a 24 hour focus, not something that we start to think about when we walk in the door at work.
Get management commitment by clearly communicating the goals of your safety program. Get the written policies in place to satisfy OSHA and to crystallize your thinking on safe procedures. Train your supervisors and managers, then your employees. Launch your safety marketing campaign and stick with it. Be creative. Good marketing will make the message stick in the minds of your employees, and that’s where you want it.
Scott Mastley, SPHR, MBA, is the Vice President of Human Resources for Resource Alliance. Scott is a consultant, not an attorney, so he shares his opinions, not legal advice, about increasing performance and limiting liability.