Seven Safety Engagement Tips for Frontline Workers

Frontline workers are the most vulnerable to workplace incidents. They’re often working in the most hazardous environments in construction and factories.

February 3, 2023

4 Min Read
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Image courtesy of John Fedele via Getty Images

Michelle Genser, VP of marketing at Evotix

Workers in all industries are the cornerstone of any successful, safe, and productive workplace. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 2.6 million nonfatal workplace accidents and injuries in private industry in the United States each year. With the increasing complexities of the modern workplace, it’s important to keep workers engaged, informed, and motivated to ensure they understand and adhere to safety protocols. 

Evotix, a leading provider of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) solutions has outlined indispensable ways for employers to engage frontline workers in their safety efforts. 

Employees are the life force of any organization. Not only do they keep the practicalities of the operation going, but their presence and energy are what build a unique company culture and identity. This is why it is vital for everyone to work in a physically and psychologically safe and fulfilling environment. Yet many organizations are still struggling to get it right and reap the rewards of doing so.

In order for your organization to be successful, you need to ensure your engagement strategies resonate with your frontline workforce. Frontline workers, in particular, are the most vulnerable to workplace incidents, as they’re often working in the most hazardous environments, such as construction sites or factories. 

Related:How To Build a Better Machine Safety System

Here are Evotix’s seven strategies employers can use to ensure their frontline workers stay safe, compliant, and productive.

1. Effective Communication

Effective communication is key to engaging frontline workers with safety. Companies must provide clear, concise, and up-to-date information to ensure workers know the latest safety protocols. This should include both in-person and written instructions via a specialist safety app, handbooks, manuals, and posters. Employers should also use regular group meetings and training to give frontline workers a chance to ask questions and share their ideas on safety.

2. Team Building

Team building activities are a great way to boost morale and engagement among frontline workers. These activities can also foster an environment of trust, collaboration, and collective responsibility that encourages workers to share solutions and strategies for maintaining a safe and productive workplace. The comradery within the workforce contributes to better quality work and enhanced productivity. 

3. Training and Certification

To guarantee frontline workers have the knowledge and skills needed to stay safe and productive, employers should provide regular training and certification programs. This could include refresher courses on topics such as hazard identification, accident prevention, and proper use of tools and equipment. Relevant, interesting content can embed health and safety awareness into day-to-day activities.

Related:The New Normal of Workplace Safety

4. Incentives and Rewards

An Evotix podcast titled “How to Make Safety Engagement Mean Something To Your Frontline Workers” discusses whether leaders should make safety a priority or a value. Well, the answer is both, but the key is to tap into the ‘what's in it for me?’ with workers. 

Employers need to make safety a value add for everyone and can do so by keeping it simple and aligning safety to the frontline workers’ world. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is for employers to regularly recognize and reward frontline workers for consistently adhering to safety protocols. This could include bonuses or awards for those who demonstrate exemplary safety practices. It’s also important to recognize workers who go above and beyond in their safety efforts and provide them with public praise.

5. Accessible Resources

Providing easy access to safety resources is another essential way for workers to stay engaged and informed. This could include online resources, such as safety videos or webinars, or QR codes adhered to machinery that provides a quick training recap prior to equipment used to lessen the potential of an injury. Leaders can also put health and safety in the hands of employees via specialist software or a mobile app. 

6. Feedback and Collaboration

Employers should regularly seek feedback from workers and solicit their ideas on how to improve safety protocols. It is a two-way conversation, and leaders often don’t have all the answers. Honest and open dialogue is key to making sure everyone is aligned and striving for a safer and more fulfilling workplace. 

 7. Lead by Example

A strong safety culture needs to be promoted from the top down within your organization for it to thrive. Before asking employees to jump on board, managers and manufacturing leaders must first demonstrate good safety and establish themselves as safety leaders. This emphasizes the importance but also sets the standard for excellence.

There are many strategies for improved health and safety in manufacturing, but one theme running through them all is engaging workers in health and safety initiatives. Without worker engagement, many of these initiatives will be doomed to fail from the start or, even worse, may not even be implemented at all. With proper engagement, employers can ensure their initiatives are effective and that their employees are safe and protected in the workplace. It can be difficult to encourage behavioral changes throughout an entire workforce, but the effort is absolutely worthwhile.

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