Hiring young employees is a great way to inject some new energy and drive into a workplace. All that youthful verve will certainly provide your projects with new and interesting perspectives. But it turns out that younger employees are also more likely to suffer an accident on the job than their older counterparts. Be it from lack of experience or a tendency to jump in a project or work environment without knowing the safety pitfalls, it is critical for a manager or HR staff to show their younger workers the importance of workplace safety. That means going beyond a boring safety presentation. Here are a few ways you can teach your junior staff how to be safe on the job.
Create a Workplace Culture of Safety
Accidents, near misses, and worker compensation claims are bad news not just for those hurt on the job, but the company as a whole. A culture of carelessness or lack of leadership has long term repercussions. It is critical to invest in creating a workplace culture that emphasizes and values safety as a top priority. Communicate and enforce safety protocols and encourage all staff to take responsibility for on the job safety. Your workers and your bottom line will thank you.
Rethink Your Safety Training Strategy
This goes for all staff, but a helpful starting place is to acknowledge that different people learn in different ways. Some learn best through reading material or seeing a presentation, others through hearing a speaker lecture on a subject, and still others learn best through hands on experience. When developing a training seminar to inform staff, particularly younger employees, about the potential safety risks involved in a project or the job site, be sure to mix things up so that all staff are able to retain key safety messages after the training is over.
Younger staff are also more likely to be familiar with digital media forms such as online or web based training seminars. Consider offering an interesting mix of digital and in person safety training sessions to keep content fresh and interesting.
Empower Younger Employees to Show Leadership Through Safety
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Always encourage staff to speak up if they experience a lapse in workplace safety. By acknowledging those near misses and responding accordingly, you are showing leadership and empowering staff to take their safety seriously. Young employees who are looking for a way to improve their leadership skills will benefit from being given the responsibility of creating and maintaining a safe environment. Be sure to communicate safety goals and guidelines clearly, and support the mission with example consequences should the worst happen.
If an accident does occur, the best way to make good on a bad situation is to learn from it. Offer younger staff the opportunity to present their lessons learned to co-workers so that everyone can gain awareness of a potential safety concern. The key is to engage and empower all staff to take safety seriously.
Sentech Services, provides high-end, customized service to manufacturing companies in Michigan as well as manufacturing companies in Indiana, can help businesses find job candidates who are willing to be great team members. Contact us today to get started!