You can have all the right workplace safety equipment and health and safety procedures, but if your employees aren’t following the rules or adhering to advice intended to keep them and others around them safe, you’re heading for trouble.
Every year, there are thousands of accidents and injuries in UK workplaces, a large number of which are as the result of people not complying with safety rules and regulations.
In this blog, Nick Grinnell offers a six-step guide to ensuring your business avoids being part of the statistics...
How to ensure compliance in the workplace
Encouraging compliance in the workplace is about incorporating safety into business-as-usual, rather than seeing it as an add-on on top. When it comes to PPE, it means choosing products for their all-round performance and not just on the basis of their safety credentials. It’s also about education, about making sure your employees know how to keep themselves and others safe, and understand the potential consequences of not following the rules.
Our six-step guide to ensuring compliance in the workplace is:
- Consider your employees’ point of view
- Involve your team
- Offer choice – within reason
- Maintain communication
- Tackle non-compliance
- Keep track
Let’s look at those points in a little more detail…
Encouraging compliance #1: Consider your employees’ point of view
When choosing PPE like safety gloves and safety footwear, first put yourself in your employees’ shoes. They are the ones who will have to wear what you buy all day long, and price-per-item costs won’t be their first thought. Would you want to wear what you’re considering all day long? Are items comfortable, and practically suited to the demands of the tasks your workers have to perform? If not, there’s a very real chance they won’t be worn by large numbers of your team. If you’re not sure, speak to your workers and ask them what they think.
Which brings us nicely onto…
Encouraging compliance #2: Involve your team
Have you ever asked your employees what they think of the workwear and PPE you provide? If not, it’s time to start. Involving your team in the trial and ultimate selection of PPE in particular is proven to encourage compliance and increase emotional engagement with the importance of following safety protocols. Good safety workwear suppliers will offer trials of important PPE items like safety gloves and footwear. Ask your team to evaluate all the options, and listen to and act on their feedback.
Encouraging compliance #3: Offer choice (within reason)
It is good practice to offer your employees a choice of workwear and PPE where possible, as allowing them some element of control over what they wear at work is proven to boost morale and, when it comes to PPE, to increase engagement with the importance of following the rules. Don’t go too far though, as you’ll risk not only making it harder to manage but making selection over complicated and confusing for your team with too much choice.
Learn more: Find out how our easy-to-use ordering system Control-iT helps encourage compliance by providing employees with choice and control within safety limits.
Encouraging compliance #4: Maintain communication
When it comes to safety rules and procedures, it’s easy to think that your team has heard it all before – and that may be true. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to keep reminding them on a regular basis. Regular safety training and communication with staff via the various touch points available to you – from weekly briefings, to employee news bulletins, site posters and more – is a great way to keep safety in front of mind at all times.
Encouraging compliance #5: Tackle non-compliance
For some people, encouraging them to comply with safety regulations isn’t enough; these people need to know that there will be consequences for those that don’t comply, and that you’re willing to enforce them. Make sure your teams know what the process is in the event of non-conformity or non-compliance, so they know they have a choice to make, and that that choice will have direct consequences for them.
Encouraging compliance #6: Keep track
Encouraging compliance is easier when individuals are held responsible for their own choices. Combining a robust process for tackling non-compliance with some kind of management system to track what PPE has been assigned, to whom, and when, as well as when replacements may be ordered, is an effective way to ensure everyone is clear of what is expected of them in regard to their safety and the safety of those around them.