Safety training for workers—especially for lone workers—is a no-brainer for any organization with employees. It is not, however, as simple as just having a training session and calling it a day. How you implement worker safety training can have a major effect on the outcome of that training.
As an example, we recently had the chance to conduct a case study with two separate organizations that piloted new worker safety technology. Both organizations piloted the same technology, had similar work environments, tested the new technology with 25 people, and had enthusiastic buy-in from leadership. The results, despite an even playing field, were vastly different. One organization had high adoption, the other had low adoption. One had great response rates, the other did not. Similar measures up and down the board looked the same. So, what happened? The case study analyzed the reasons for success and failure for each.
Here is what we learned from our case study about how to successfully implement safety training in the workplace:
Orientation and set-up are the keys to a successful integration of new worker safety technologies. To ensure success in these realms, good communication is essential. Organizations must clearly communicate the purpose and value of the employee safety strategy from the outset, or risk being tuned out. People are busy, and if they do not see or realize the value in what you are doing, they will pay it little attention, leading to a failed implementation.
You must convey the importance of the pilot program and give consistent updates along the way. Two-way communication is essential to keeping workers engaged and ensuring you get buy-in throughout the process. Make it a conversation, not a speech.
Timing is everything. Choose the right time of year to implement an employee safety pilot or plan. Take into account the season. Is it a busy season for the business? Are the holidays coming up? Anytime there are outside distractions, you’ll have less success as employees’ minds may be elsewhere.
Choose a time of year with less distractions. If there is a particular timeframe during which your organization is traditionally less busy, schedule your implementation for that time. As evidenced by this case study, engagement and buy-in are the most important indicators of success. Creating an environment where employees are more likely to be engaged will bolster success.
Too often, leadership decides to implement a worker safety program and simply pushes down a mandate to do it without putting a single person in charge. The result is often confusion and disengagement. Without an established owner or champion of your employee safety program, the buck will stop nowhere.
Appoint someone who will oversee, champion and manage the worker safety program. With a clear owner, employees will know who to talk to when they have questions or issues. The program owner should be a believer and a champion—so that they can create new believers and champions.
Perhaps the biggest mistake organizations make when implementing a technology-driven worker safety plan is viewing technology as just, well, technology. This leads organizations, in many cases, to put the IT department in change of the program. And while the IT department may be technology experts, your worker safety plan is a safety plan, not a technology plan.
Technology is about solving a problem. Organizations should put the power to choose the right technology in the hands of those who fully understand the problem from the ground level, regardless of whether they are technology experts.
If your organization attempts to implement a technology solution for worker safety that does not fit the organization’s needs, buy-in and engagement will likely be minimal, and the program will ultimately fail. Before deciding on a technology, first pinpoint the exact problem you are trying to solve and determine what the desired outcome of your worker safety program should be. Do you research—ask around, read technology reviews, speak with multiple companies. Bring in your IT team in an advisory role to give their opinion on the technology’s capabilities. And always pilot the new technology before fully committing to it.
There are a variety of worker safety technologies available on the market to fit almost any organization’s needs. The SolusGuard panic button and alert system is a best-in-class personal alarm designed specifically for worker safety. Worn either as a pendant or clipped on a belt loop, the SolusGuard panic button allows workers in danger to immediately send out a call for help. SolusGuard instantly alerts a network of emergency contacts and provides GPS location with just one push of a button. And, if the initial response isn’t successful, SolusGuard will instruct the employee’s phone to call 911 as a backup. The panic button is paired with an app with a dashboard feature that can be used to generate incident reports for compliance as well.
If you’d like to learn more about worker safety and the SolusGuard solution, get in touch with us today!