One of the most effective ways to improve workplace safety and prevent injuries is to bring safety consciousness to the forefront of everyone’s mind through effective, meaningful and frequent communication!
Springbrook has a high incident rate of injuries related to participant’s behaviors, which are largely out of our sphere of control. What we can directly influence are what we call “Preventable Injuries” such as slips/trips/falls and lifting injuries. While these are less frequent, when they do occur, they tend to generate large dollar claims with missed time and/or claims for ongoing treatment.
With these types of injuries, there is usually an employee behavioral component, meaning, if the staff had been aware and reacted differently injury may have been avoided.
- If you see something, say something! If you see something unsafe, or someone acting in an unsafe manner mentions it to your supervisor or the staff if appropriate. On the other end of the spectrum… if you see someone proactively engaging in safe behavior tell them!
- Report unsafe environmental issued to Maintenance/Facilities through completion of a work order if appropriate.
- Shift huddle or Shift Summary email – provide specific information regarding the challenges, opportunities faced during a shift and provide recognition for staff who engaged in proactive, safety conscious and positive ways.
- Discuss the Safety Topic provided to you in the agency’s meeting template. This gives you a good conversation starter… but take it a step further and try to reinforce this conversation on a daily basis.
Remember when engaging in this kind of communication to keep the feedback related to action and behaviors without making it personal. Listen actively, and approach any corrective feedback as a discussion.
There is a certain amount of risk in the work we do every day, in addition to increasing awareness and cautioning staff it is important to praise employees who regularly engage in safe actions/behaviors. This builds a more open, positive and affirming safety culture.