Research: Doubts lead to injuries

by on August 28, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Does each individual member of your crew believe management is committed to safety?

The question’s critical: Individuals who believe managers are committed to safety are less likely to be injured. That’s according to a recent Harvard University study of 453 restaurant workers co-sponsored by Liberty Mutual.

Those workers who believed managers had a strong safety commitment were more likely to comply with safety rules and less likely to get hurt.

Demonstrate commitment
And here’s the real kicker: It didn’t matter if supervisors thought management’s safety commitment was strong. It only mattered if the individual employee did. Take home:

  • Walk the talk. Model safe behavior yourself. Failure to do so can make workers think your commitment (or the company’s) isn’t real.
  • Recognize safe behaviors. Thanking workers for safety efforts show you’re paying attention to safety, and demonstrates your commitment.
  • Intervene if you hear an individual worker badmouthing the company’s commitment to safety. That person is at a higher risk for future injury. Open a discussion to see why the person thinks that, and address it.

Source: Huang, Yeung-Hsiang, et al., “Supervisor vs. employee safety perceptions and association with future injury …,” Accident Analysis & Prevention, July 2012, Pp. 45-51.

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