24th Nov, 2020 Read time 3 minutes

How to start Increasing empowerment in health and safety

When it comes to developing good health and safety practices throughout the organisation, you need to create good empowerment at all levels of the workplace. Empowerment in health and safety comes from helping workers to feel engaged and capable of enacting practices that improve the safety of a workplace for employees. 

If you are implementing risk assessments, safety checks, and have good safety and health training for all employees but are still seeing poor health and safety performance, it could be down to poor empowerment amongst employees and managers. 

In today’s article, we have a look at some of the ways you can improve empowerment amongst employees and those in positions of authority within your organization. 

 

Implement a culture of honesty and total trust 

 

When it comes to empowerment in health and safety, you need to create a culture in which workers feel comfortable haring shortcomings and concerns within the business. If you do not have this, workers will not have the confidence to speak up when they see opportunities for health and safety improvements. 


If the senior managers rule with an ‘iron fist’ then line managers will not feel comfortable questioning work processes, they will not feel empowered enough. This can lead to accidents and near misses which will all impact on your overall health and safety record.

 

To start developing a good culture, get some of the fundamentals right. Encourage open discussion, work with people, and encourage them to develop and question the way things are done. It comes down to more than superficial auditions like a coffee machine or bean bag, building an open culture takes time and it is vital to have it to have good worker empowerment in health and safety.

 

Do not penalise workers who are making mistakes 

 

Negative feedback rarely works, and if you penalise workers who do not speak up over issues they’ve spotted in health and safety, it can lead to them becoming disenfranchised with the business.

To overcome this, try to focus on positive feedback. This will further motivate employees and managers to spot, identify, and fix health and safety problems and encourage them to do it further in the future. 

 

Include smaller safety meetings to improve communication

Getting good empowerment can often be difficult in bigger corporate environments. One of the ways that you can start to alleviate this is by adding smaller team safety meetings into the routine work of the business. This can help more reserved individuals speak up and allow for easier and more effective communication. This can come in the form of a stand-up or casual team meeting.

 

Try to maintain good empowerment in the workplace in all areas

Good empowerment in health and safety can help drive down incidents and increase the overall productivity of a workforce. Leading on from this, empowerment can also improve the other areas of a business, in various different departments. Make sure you encourage good empowerment all over the company to get the most benefits. 

HSE Network
Article by: HSE Network

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