Ensuring safe behavior in the workplace is never easy, especially when there are multiple demands, fast-paced schedules and employees working in locations where they cannot be monitored or coached by their supervisor. There are different ways to encourage and reinforce safe behavior, such as implementing a safety incentives program or a behavior-based safety process. While these processes can be very effective when they are done correctly, they often require significant expenditure of time and resources.
One simple way to reinforce safe behavior is to create “safety phrases,” which are typically generated by hourly workers. The point is to take safety outside of the safety manuals and meetings, and to demonstrate that workers are actively thinking about safety in a way that is practical, and often witty, in addition to giving some all-important employee recognition. The goal is to get a phrase that sticks in your mind, while encouraging workers to support the phrases through the employee’s own social networks. In an ideal world, employees would even strive to compete to come up with the next company safety slogan. Safety phrases can also make safe behavior be very personal and unique to the individual and their everyday environment. Since each employee has their own personal SafetyDNA, they are each likely to suggest something that is impactful to them and that others may not have thought of.
Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- “We leave the way we came in.”
- “Tie off means no fly off.”
- ”Accidents hurt. Safety doesn’t.”
- “Safety first, makes us last.”
- ”Don’t be a fool, keep the guard on the tool!”