Safety in the Workplace: Prevent, Verify, Correct, and Support

We can all agree that a safe environment is essential to provide an experience and workplace that is supportive to employees, welcoming customers and respectful in the community we operate in. Creating a culture that makes safety a priority needs to be part of everyone's responsibility. 

 

Let’s breakdown 4 key areas you can use to evaluate your team’s approach to safety.  

 

Prevention 

Preventing unsafe conditions takes a team that is always on the alert and works safety practices into their daily tasks. Being proactive means training employees to observe and watch for conditions that may cause an injury. Everyone from the frontline to the support staff needs to participate here. Watching for slip or trip hazards and taking the time to correct the situation immediately can save injuries to customers and employees. Leaving a work area in a safe condition is everyone’s responsibility. Brooms, mops, tools, deliveries all pose a hazard if left haphazardly. Accidents can happen in an instant. 

 

Teams need to be instructed to report issues proactively.  Equally important is a response that supports the sense of urgency to demonstrate that the support center is also committed to a safe working environment. Issues that fester can signal to your team that it can wait, and their sense of urgency may wane.  

 

Zenput Best Practice: 

Creating short, but effective daily, weekly, or monthly walks provide a critical tool for your team to stop, take a fresh look at key areas, and focus on safety.    

 

Verify  

Once we have an alert crew being proactive we need to make sure we verify procedures to maintain accountability. Review your safety commitments and set-up systems that provide you visibility into accomplishments and shortfalls. Systems of accountability need reinforcement to stay relevant and top of mind. This includes our frontline workers, location leaders, supervisors, maintenance, human resources and all the way up to the CEO. We need to hold each other accountable for agreed upon safety procedures.

 

Zenput Best Practice: 

Set-up a regular cadence of safety measures that verify the procedures are being followed. Communicate with your teams on any gaps in execution and celebrate consistent performance. 

 

Corrective Action  

Once you have a proactive, alert crew, holding each other accountable, and maintaining regular safety best practices - it’s important to correct any issues with a sense of urgency. Here we need to ask ourselves several questions that will lead to successfully correcting unsafe behaviors or conditions: 

  • How do you respond when corrective action needs to be taken? 
  • If a store team reports a safety issue, who will own the issue and drive it to resolution? 
  • Are you aware when actions are delayed? 
  • Do you have systems in place to review unresolved issues? 
  • If we uncover an issue, did we discuss with the team how or why this occurred? 
  • Is the issue recurring frequently in the same location, or systemic across the organization? 

 

Spending time learning about why the lapse in safety occurred will help you answer if you need more training, a refocus on awareness, or perhaps something in the operation needs to be addressed. 

 

Zenput Best Practice: 

Create triggers to alert team members of critical issues that need their attention and assign tasks to the members of the team who can help correct the issue. It’s important here that we create triggers that crealy describe the issue so it can be addressed. Photos can play an important role in helping the team understand what has occurred. 

 

Supportive Environment (Teamwork) 

Creating a supportive environment is a critical component of building teams that take safety seriously. Encourage feedback from the team and share this up through management. Frontline employees have great ideas, but often fail to share unless they are asked. As your supervisors visit the locations on nights and weekends, ask employees how you can support them. Point out safety issues you identify and ask if they were aware of the issue. 

 

Getting involved in the community, attending local meetings, or reaching out to key leaders in the neighborhood will provide a pathway to communicate, learn about their concerns, and become part of the solution in the process. This will also let them know you are a responsible member of the community and you care about their well-being.   

 

Zenput Best Practice: 

  • Use Announcements to celebrate safety achievements, highlight a safety tip of the month, or share new safety policies. 
  • Create a Safety Feedback form for employees to share their ideas to improve the workplace, or alert management of potential safety hazards in their store. This open form of communication should be open to all employees and reviewed regularly. 

Creating a safe workplace for employees and a safe shopping experience for customers takes constant diligence and commitment. But the return on investment is significant. Being proactive, holding each other accountable, understanding why issues occur and fostering a supportive environment can go a long way. 


If you would like to have this form template added to your Zenput account, please copy and paste the message below into the Chat function in Zenput and our Support team will add it for you: 

 

“Hi Support, can you please add the form below to our account? Safety Walks: Safety Pillar-399657 ”. 

 

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