GETTING EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT STARTED
MEET WITH EMPLOYEES
- Meet with employees in one large group (if not unwieldy) or in groups by shift or craft, depending on the nature of your worksite.
- Explain the safety and health policy of your worksite and the objectives that you hope to achieve.
- Explain that you want employees to help with the safety and health program. Ask for their suggestions.
- Try to use as many of the reasonable suggestions as possible in some visible way.
FORM A COMMITTEE
- Form a joint committee. It should be large enough to represent different parts of your worksite without becoming unwieldy.
- Try to have equal numbers of management and non-supervisory employees on the committee.
- Choose management members who have enough "clout" to get things done.
- Ensure that the safety and health staff serves as staff for the committee.
- If your worksite has collective bargaining agent allow that organization to decide the method for choosing non-supervisory members.
- If your worksite is not unionized, consult with a qualified labor relations professional on the best way to obtain employee participation if you decide to use a committee.
HOW TO USE INVOLVED EMPLOYEES
Employers most commonly involve their employees in the workplace safety and health program by having them conduct regularly scheduled, routine physical inspections. Employees work from a checklist.
- Employees will need adequate and appropriate training.
- They should be expected to help with decisions about hazard correction as well as hazard identification.
- You also may choose to ask the committee to study one or two difficult safety and/or health problems that management has been unable to resolve. If so, you must demand serious work and, in return, give the committee’s suggestions serious consideration.
- Once the committee is well established and functioning successfully it will be in a position to suggest other ways to involve your workforce usefully in the safety and health program.
- Always remember that it is the employer who has ultimate legal responsibility for ensuring workplace safety and health.