• Carol Warner
    1
    Hi.... I am a H&S Co-Ordinator for a medium-sized company (104 staff). When I joined there was pretty much no H&S systems, procedures, policies or anything in place. I formed a H&S Committee and H&S Reps were appointed, and have done a lot of work over the past 12 months (including dealing with Covid-19 and everything that entailed). However, I have struggled to get traction with worker participation and feedback from our workforce. Just because I'm keen I guess I thought that everybody else should be too, but it hasn't turned out quite as I imagined. Can anyone recommend a resource that would assist with this? I would really like to kick-start 2021 with the right approach!
  • Steve H
    27
    Hello Carol, what industry is your company active in? Much of a history of workplace accidents previously?
  • Dianne Campton
    44
    Try some fun activities - maybe a problem your company has can be turned into a fun team activity to get engagement
  • Craig Marriott
    173
    Focus on improving work, rather than identifying safety issues. Most people are happy to talk about making their job better. Remove frustrations, difficulties, pressures they face due to inefficiencies etc and then the safety improvements will come naturally enough. Most incidents are people trying to get the job done in some less than ideal situation. Fix that, no incident. See some of the recommendations on the safety book thread
  • Steve H
    27
    Focus on improving work, rather than identifying safety issues. Most people are happy to talk about making their job better. Remove frustrations, difficulties, pressures they face due to inefficiencies etc and then the safety improvements will come naturally enough. Most incidents are people trying to get the job done in some less than ideal situation. Fix that, no incident.Craig Marriott

    Yes, totally agree, it's interesting that an SME of 100+ souls, would have no formal H&S systems etc already existent, which is why I would like to what it does and what prompted Carols appointment. The OP's comment that H&S reps were "appointed" suggests that maybe it's a reaction to the messiah thing (here are the commandments etc etc). Talking one on one about how work is being done, with the troops that do it, is always the logical first step.
  • Steve H
    27
    I think there is some gold to be found for Carol,or anyone going into a long established company without a formalized H&S sytem and culture in this thread
  • Carol Warner
    1
    Hi all,
    Thanks for the feedback. Am absorbing the comments and suggestions! Your note Steve about the H&S Reps "appointed" isn't quite right (I didn't make it clear). We had nominations and did everything according the the book - so they were elected per workgroup.
    Cheers - will keep an eye out for other suggestions etc.
  • Sherralynne Smith
    7
    I have found that personalising the approach taken to H&S works pretty well. Tell your colleagues that the reason why there is a health and safety system in place is so that they can go home to their family/friends at the end of their workday.

    Good luck.
  • PaulReyneke
    17
    Carol, my advice is, don't be too uptight. Engagement is not something you can demand, not even request. It is similar to spontaneity, the more you say to people "be spontaneous", the less spontaneous they will be.

    The same with staff involvement. Don't see it as something you can do 'according to the book', or even something that you have to 'create'. As people see you - and, importantly, your senior management - are serious, the more they will become involved. It will start slowly, it may a person asking a question, or making a very basic suggestion while you are having a cup of tea in the staff room. Or it may be because they see a leader making a change because it makes the place slightly safer.

    Or anything... and all of a sudden one or two people start responding, setting off a growing groundswell of change. But it never follows a certain pathway; every group of people, or even sub-group of people, will react differently. Don't worry - it is normal. That is human behaviour, it never follows the script, doesn't matter how good the script-writer is!

    Here's a short summary of a very interesting book that explains a small part of the phenomenon. But even this is not the full story - I personally have spent 11 years at University and 45 years in the industry and I still don't even start to understand why and how people behave. So don't be worried - keep on keeping on and it will happen!

    https://www.brandhome.com/home/library/the-tipping-point-malcolm-gladwell/
  • Michael Wilson
    69
    You Said/ We Did

    Let the team know when you make their lives better. There will be things that bothered them for years that you have fixed because they raised them,

    Let them know how how the new boots are because they raised it, the workshop is now clean because they raised it, the air con is fixed because they raised it.
  • Michael Parker
    1
    What is the nature & H&S history of the business?
  • Bruce Tollan
    20

    I'm a backer of this idea. Try the approach of "H&S is in everything we do" its not a department in its own silo.
    A focus on general workplace and productivity improvement is your chance to implement safe work.
  • Michael Wilson
    69
    Agreed. Of course this needs to be led from the top.
  • Steve H
    27
    As a bit of background, the OPs company did have a formal H&S plan, sounds like it was a bit of a generic system that had been purchased and then languished on a shelf, rather than been tailored to suit the companies type of business activities and it's staff.
  • HSQE
    11
    We have a great culture in our company but participation is still a big issue with us too and we only have 40 workers. We now hold meetings with small groups and that has proven much better for getting them to talk and offer suggestions and participate in the discussions and decisions, so maybe try that :)
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