Create opportunities for worker engagement in safety
A key principle of OSHA’s Safe + Sound campaign is “worker participation.” (The others: “find and fix hazards” and “management leadership.”) OSHA defines worker participation as “engaging workers at all levels in establishing, implementing, evaluating and improving safety and health in the workplace so that workers understand they are a valuable partner in making their workplace safer and are encouraged to communicate with management about hazards on the job.”
OSHA recommends employers ask for and listen to feedback when building a workplace safety and health program. “Creating opportunities for open dialogue encourages workers to raise safety and health concerns or report a work-related injury or illness without fear of retaliation.”
- Be present. Implement an open-door policy so workers know they can talk to you about safety and health concerns during work hours.
- Invite your workers to a safety discussion listening session.
- Set up a physical or virtual suggestion box that workers can use to relay safety and health concerns.
- Host a celebration or ceremony to recognize workers who make safety contributions, or invite them to have lunch with your CEO, president or other leaders to discuss safety.
- Involve workers when setting annual safety and health goals. For example, invite them to “help research, brainstorm and decide on the appropriate targets.” Ensure workers at all levels of your organization can participate, regardless of skill level, status or education. Provide translation if needed.