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OHS proactive approach: acting on our daily behaviors

Throughout my career, I've encountered organizations grappling with issues tied to employee behavior. In each instance, I've witnessed diligent efforts and the launch of numerous initiatives. While these endeavors undoubtedly make an impact, they often fail to address the core problem. This cycle persists until employees become disheartened, despite the organization's noble intentions and significant investment.

This scenario inevitably leads to disappointment among employees, who had hoped for a resolution. One can envision them expressing their resignation with a shrug and the sentiment, "Too bad... they're working so hard!"

Upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that the solution doesn't lie solely in implementing various initiatives but rather in engaging workers in them. How can we effect behavioral change? There are multiple avenues depending on one's position, experience, and expertise.

However, it's pertinent to pose a few key questions that supervisory staff can reflect on daily to enhance their impact:

  • Am I articulating my directives clearly?

  • Are my expectations straightforward and unambiguous?

  • Are employees engaging in preventative activities out of genuine belief or merely to fulfill expectations?

While the solutions may seem simple, they necessitate heightened awareness. This introspection should prompt a reevaluation of our personal occupational health and safety (OHS) practices.

In addition to addressing these questions, how can I ensure my interactions with employees have a meaningful impact?

Consider the following strategies:

  • Engage directly in the workplace.

  • Foster meaningful dialogues to grasp ongoing challenges.

  • Recognize positive behaviors and areas for improvement.

  • Offer assistance and support.

  • Keep employees informed about the progress of their requests.

  • Highlight an employee's positive actions to others.

You're witnessing the inception of a movement. It begins with individual commitment and then extends to others. Embrace this belief and actively participate!

This brings me back to my commitment to the One Percent Safer approach: every day I make people realize, through simple gestures and actions that could be theirs, that it is possible to positively influence a person's behavior.

It happens one conversation at a time!

How about you?


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