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Leadership and worker involvement

Key principles

There are 10 key principles that will help you to achieve successful leadership and worker involvement. These are:

  1. Don’t walk by
    It is everyone’s responsibility on site to prevent any unsafe acts and conditions that they witness from turning into accidents as soon as they see them. Talk to the person(s) involved and draw their attention to the risks.
  2. STOP
    All workers should be encouraged to stop working whenever they feel unsafe, no matter if their reasons for doing so turn out to be unfounded. Better to STOP than to have an accident.
  3. A safe working environment drives safe behaviour
    If you expect your workers to work in a safe way, you need to make sure that you do all you can to make the environment they work in as safe as possible.
  4. Don’t blame the worker until you have accounted for all causes
    The causes of unsafe ways of working, accidents, incidents and ill health do not always stop with the worker. The problem can often be traced back to less obvious causes such as decisions made by management and the wider organisation. Avoid blaming the worker without having considered the full range of possible causes.
  5. Use your workforce for ideas
    Your workers can have a more accurate idea of which efforts to improve health and safety may or may not work than you, your management or other experts. They have to deal with the issues every day. Use and include them.
  6. Change does not usually happen overnight
    Do not expect quick wins. Improvements are likely to emerge over time, but only if you stick with it.
  7. Knowledge is not enough
    Simply telling workers that something is wrong, or is a risk, is not enough. They also need to know why, and how to avoid harm if they are to act on the information that you provide.
  8. You lead by example
    Your behaviour sends strong signals to your workers as to how they should behave. If you carry out your job in a safe way, your workers are more likely to work in safe ways. If you do not then your workers will not.
  9. Encourage co-operation
    Treat your sub-contractors in the same way as direct employees. Encourage different sub-contractors and trades to proactively communicate with each other. Getting consistency in standards will then be that much easier.
  10. Don’t neglect occupational health
    If you look after the health as well as the safety of your workers now, you are less likely to store up problems for either you or your workforce in the future.
Updated: 24.09.14