Employee Compliance: How to Love Health and Safety

Employee Compliance: How to Love Health and Safety

Most of the problems health and safety specialists face can be chased down to a common denominator: getting the workforce behind them.

Making health and safety interesting and relatable is a key ingredient for a safety culture that actually works. But how do we bring the rules off the paper, and into real life?

Remember when you were a young and hopeful employee attending a health and safety briefing? If you do, you probably remember stifling a yawn or two.

Let’s be honest, health and safety can be boring and many employers struggle to get their employees on board and engaged during training.

This makes the implementation, on a day-to-day level, lackluster at best.

VITS offers solutions to this problem, with a simple demo you can find out how to make your Health and Safety training effective, and even interesting.

But if you’re not ready to let VITS do the work for you, let’s have a chat about how to engage employees in Health and Safety (and maybe even get them to love it).

Okay, loving it might be a stretch. But we can at least make it interesting, right? If you want to get more out of your training, and maybe even get your employees to love health and safety, this blog can help.

Let’s dive in.

Why is it important for employers and employees to follow health and safety rules?

Thousands of employees around the world don’t follow safety rules. The repercussions can be fatal. Each year 2.3 million people die because of poor health and safety practices.

That’s about 6000 deaths every day. And it is not just the employees at risk. Every 24 hours at least one business has a fire resulting in a fatality or serious injury to a member of staff or customer.

Not only is this devastating for the company and the individuals affected, but it also costs the economy in excess of  $3 trillion every year. Keep reading if you want to avoid being a part of this statistic.

Why employees don’t follow health and safety rules:

If you think that it is clear why health and safety rules are important, well, it isn’t- not to the everyday workforce anyway. Unfortunately, the statistics are clear.

Millions of employers and employees don’t understand why it’s important to follow health and safety rules.

While there could be numerous reasons, the following are general and most common:

  • Inefficient Training & Communication
  • Employees are not accountable for health and safety
  • Employees are simply not interested
  • Management has a poor relationship with health and safety

But at the end of the day, it boils down to this: employees need to understand the why behind these rules. But showing them the fatal statistics is not enough.

Employees need to believe in the importance of health and safety regulations. 

Here’s how to make that happen:

How to make employees follow health and safety requirements

To get staff on board with health and safety, and even make it interesting, we have to know how to engage employees in health and safety, right?

Even the most banal subjects can become interesting. Think about what makes you interested in something, it’s that personal connection.

Sure, health and safety can be boring- but, when you make it personal, then your employees might just start believing in it.

The fundamentals of employees believing in health and safety requirements

What does it mean to ‘believe’ in something? Whatever your definition of belief is, we can all agree it is tied to emotional investment, right?

So, let’s get employees emotionally invested in health and safety requirements.

Employees don’t necessarily concern themselves with compliance, but health and safety is a personal matter that every single staff member can relate to.

Take a moment to consider what is important to you.

What came up?

Health, family, security? These are all top-tier concerns for almost every individual.

And these can all be tied to working in an environment that is safe and takes care of your health.

Making safety a personal matter, and letting the employee realize that it is about taking care of their health and their personal safety, makes all the difference.

So, we can agree that implementing health and safety rules is not enough. The trick is to engage employees, make it personal, and create a health and safety-focused culture in the workplace.

But, how?

It’s simpler than you might think.

1. Relatable Regulations

Employees need to believe in the health and safety requirements. This happens when staff recognizes how important these regulations are in keeping them safe and healthy.

Most of the time, workers do not care about compliance (let’s call it like it is). This means elevating the regulations from being black and white rules that need to be followed to creating a workplace atmosphere that involves a health and safety culture.

Why does this work? Because the employees genuinely want to follow the H&S requirements. Management and trainers need to genuinely care about the health and safety of their employees.

This attitude will trickle down the workforce, and into the workplace.

2. Effective Training and Communication

Effective communication is engaging and interactive. Encourage involvement and foster feedback. What is working for the employees, how would they like to see improvement?

If staff are more involved in the health and safety training, they are more likely to remember and implement the requirements with each movement throughout the workday.

3. Trust

How do you feel if you’re spoken to instead of spoken with? There’s a difference, think about it.

Remember, employees are people- not just numbers. Leaders should cultivate real relationships with their staff, earning their trust. Staff are likely to be more compliant when their trust is earned.

Treat your employees like a person, not an economic figure.

4. Management as Role Models

Management needs to be asking themselves this question: Is our Safety Leadership setting the tone?

Management should be role models when it comes to H&S requirements. An organization should have a clear core set of requirements for employees and an engaging leadership style.

Analyze the safety leadership, what are the strengths, and where are the gaps? Reinforce the strengths and strategize to fill in the gaps.

Management sets the stage for Health and Safety requirements- this is a golden rule that, when used to your advantage, can bolster the overall employee engagement with health and safety.

A Final Tip for your Health and Safety Strategy

Use online tools to keep your training up to date and engaging. In the digital age, it doesn’t make any sense to keep your employees yawning to a boring presentation.

Do you want to streamline your process? Of course, you do.

Do you know how? It’s okay, not many specialists do.

Here at VITS, we actually love health and safety. We make it our mission to help companies stay both safe, and compliant.

So much so, that our CEO organizes different events giving exclusive insight to help companies develop a streamlined health and safety strategy.

It’s safe to say that we love our job. But the admin?

Well, that is the part that gets most Health and Safety specialists down, isn’t it? That’s why we developed our product, a simple and intuitive platform that can transform the way your company does health and safety.

Are you ready to change the face of health and safety in your workplace? Come meet the VITS CEO, Jaanika on LinkedIn and join her free events.

You’ll be glad you did.

headshot of Dan Wheatley, Straight Talk Consulting founder

By Jaanika Jelistratov, Founder