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Reduce the risk of accidents: Engage employees in work safety

Expert tips


Does your work involve increased risks for you and your employees? Improve safety in your workplace with systematic work environment management. A crucial factor is the knowledge and security awareness of your employees. Here are expert tips on how to make safety a priority in the daily work.

Shortcomings in systematic work environment management to manage risks can have serious consequences. Last year, 65 people died at work in Sweden. With the right safety measures and knowledge, more future accidents can be prevented. Here, systematic and preventive work environment management is absolutely crucial. 

As an employer, you are responsible for the work environment at your workplace. It is your job to create the conditions for safe and, as far as possible, risk-free work in order to achieve a good working environment. It is also important to engage your employees in safety issues.  

– In order for the daily work to be carried out safely, employees must also be aware of the risks that exist and what role they play in the safety work, says Monica Gréen, Work Environment Engineer at Falck.   

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Ensure that your employees' safety awareness is ahead of the risk and, ultimately, the accident.

Shared Responsibility in the Work Environment

Systematic occupational health and safety work is not just about implementing policies and procedures; it is equally important to create a culture and understanding where each employee takes responsibility for their own and others' safety in the workplace.

– Focus on the knowledge and safety awareness of employees. Ensure that your employees' safety awareness precedes the risk and, most certainly, the accident, says Monica Gréen.

According to the law, your employees must follow instructions and perform tasks in the way indicated by the risk assessment. They should also participate in occupational health and safety work by reporting errors and deficiencies and contributing to the implementation and effectiveness of measures.

– It is everyone's responsibility in the organisation to highlight, discuss, and work together for a secure and safe working environment, says Monica Gréen.

Corporate Culture with Safety in Focus

To make safety an integral part of daily work, it is essential to establish common values and increase knowledge about safety. Educate, inform, and discuss risks and what makes a secure working environment. Involve your employees in improving safety and establish a reporting culture where everyone feels comfortable reporting deficiencies and errors.

Also, demonstrate that management prioritizes safety issues and highlight and encourage safe behaviors by discussing how the work team and single employees can create a sense of security.

– Make safety part of the organisation's culture and core values. As a leader, you are responsible for discussing occupational health and safety with your employees. This is a step towards changing behaviors that promote security, safety, and awareness in the organisation, says Monica Gréen.

Regular Risk Assessments are the Foundation

Working to increase risk awareness among your employees does not diminish the importance of risk assessments. They should still form the basis of your systematic occupational health and safety work and be conducted correctly and at the right intervals.

– Not conducting a risk assessment correctly is a risk in itself. Seek expert help to get fresh perspectives and insights into the risk assessment, says Monica Gréen.

Conduct the risk assessment, give meaning to checklists and assessments by physically inspecting the workplace and talking to employees involved in the task. Touch and feel the equipment. Ensure that everything is in good condition, that all safety devices are in place, functioning properly, and used correctly.

– If you are aware of what, how, and when the work should be carried out and regularly follow up on work methods and risk assessments, it also becomes easier to identify and address risks before an accident occurs, says Monica Gréen.

Increase risk awareness in your workplace

Working with risk awareness and behaviour-based safety means that you focus on behavioural change and safety awareness in your business. Here, Monica shares her tips on how to get started with behavior-based safety in your workplace.

  1. Start talking about the work environment at morning meetings and workplace meetings and identify the risks. 
  2. Create a circular calendar with what the item "work environment" should contain for each dialogue session.  
  3. Set a schedule for overall, local and targeted riskassessments, safety rounds and national inventories. Follow the schedule together.
  4. During the following year, the group will go through your policies, routines and instructions together to see if you are performing the work according to safety regulations.
  5. If you do not work as stated in the routines and instructions, have a dialogue in the group about whether it is the instructions that need to be changed/improved or if the way of working needs to be changed.  
  6. Help each other follow the routines, remind each other about safe work and set good examples.   

 By strengthening risk awareness and engaging employees in their safety and each other's safety, you can promote and maintain a safe work environment where the risk of accidents and safety incidents is lower