Accidents are bound to happen in the workplace. However, if there is anything we can do as managers, business owners, or shift leaders— it is to reduce those incidents. Ultimately, accident prevention begins with workplace safety, and accountability. So, what can we do to encourage these things amongst our employees? 

Accountability in Workplace Safety: Avoiding Injuries  

Start with proper training 

The most important step in inspiring accountability in your employees is to give them the tools to do so beforehand. When you bring on new hires, make sure they are receiving proper workplace safety training. Furthermore, use it as an opportunity to refresh your current employees on what it means to be safe. 

Ask for their opinion 

No one knows what’s happening on the floor better than the people who spend their day-to-day lives there. So, ask for their help in deciding what safety protocols are necessary, unnecessary, and also what might be missing in terms of safety protocol. When they have a hand in implementing changes, they will feel more accountable in terms of honoring them. Every employee needs to feel valued in order to value their work. So, use your employee’s point of view as a means of giving them that feeling, and also as a means of bettering the workplace. By doing so, you’ll improve your employee’s accountability.

Address poor performance in a non-aggressive way 

Don’t call one person out for doing something wrong, as this can hinder accountability and alienate your employees. Chances are if one person is using the poor protocol— they aren’t the only one. Use these instances of poor performance as a means of addressing the whole group. Don’t call one person out for handling boxes poorly. Instead, host a meeting where you review what is going wrong— and urge your employees to self-correct. Start here, and move forward as necessary in terms of addressing the issue. 

Incentivize proper protocol and milestones 

Let’s face it: we care about our employees and want them to be healthy and safe. However, we can’t deny the appeal of meeting a safety milestone. 90 days accident-free means healthy employees and fewer costly claims. So, every 90 days without an accident— consider hosting a breakfast, a happy hour, or letting everyone head home an hour early for the day. There are small ways to encourage accountability in your employees, and giving them something to look forward to is a great way to do that.