Unlocking the Power of Team Engagement for a Culture of Safety: Key Takeaways from FGIA Summer Conference
At the recent FGIA Summer Conference held in Vancouver, BC, participants were treated to a dynamic presentation titled “Engage Your Team to Create a Culture of Safety.” Renowned speaker, Scott Kessler, Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Lippert, shared invaluable insights from a safety manager’s perspective on effectively involving teams in decision-making processes related to personal protective equipment (PPE) and implementing best safety practices. Kessler also emphasized the significance of establishing a personal connection to safety, ensuring workers understand its paramount importance.
Engaging Teams: Navigating the Heinrich Triangle
During his presentation, Kessler introduced the Heinrich Triangle, a powerful model for accident prevention that illustrates the correlation between near misses, minor injuries, and major incidents. By understanding the relationship between these incidents, Kessler emphasized the significance of reporting hazards and incidents to prevent them from escalating. He urged participants to engage their teams in the reporting process, contributing to a safer work environment and ultimately avoiding severe injuries.
Improving Surroundings: Encouraging Reporting and Root Cause Analysis
Kessler stressed the importance of creating an environment where workers feel comfortable reporting safety hazards and incidents resulting from them. By actively encouraging employees to provide input, investigate root causes, and involve personnel from various departments in problem-solving, organizations can address issues effectively. Fresh perspectives and collaboration can yield innovative solutions and foster a proactive safety culture.
Seeking Team Input: Collaborative Corrective Actions
To cultivate an engaged workforce, Kessler recommended involving employees in decision-making processes related to corrective actions. By allowing workers to contribute their insights and opinions, they feel valued and invested in the outcomes. Kessler advised seeking buy-in from management once decisions are made, ensuring alignment and trust-building. Even in situations where not all questions or problems can be solved, demonstrating genuine effort and consideration fosters a sense of respect and appreciation among team members.
Aim for Zero Incidents: Emphasizing Continuous Safety Practices
Kessler challenged the notion that accidents are inevitable by emphasizing that all incidents should be preventable. To achieve this goal, he emphasized the need for consistent and proactive safety communication. Managers should integrate safety information and reminders into every meeting, training session, and daily engagement opportunity. Short team meetings dedicated to safety topics can reinforce a culture of safety and ensure its integration into daily routines.
Know Your Team: Building Relationships and Recognition
Effective management involves taking the time to understand and connect with team members on a personal level. Kessler advised managers to engage in casual conversations, showing genuine interest in employees’ personal lives, and acknowledging their achievements. Simple gestures, such as recognizing and praising good performance, go a long way in boosting morale and reinforcing a positive safety culture. Additionally, organizations can foster team spirit and camaraderie without impacting the budget by organizing theme days where employees can wear their favorite team jerseys or uniforms.
The insights shared by Scott Kessler left no doubt about the transformative power of an engaged workforce in creating a culture of safety. By actively involving teams, promoting open communication, and recognizing their contributions, organizations can bridge the gap between safety goals and actual practices.
For more information about FGIA and its commitment to safety, visit FGIAonline.org.
Source: FGIAonline.org with additional information added by Apazone