When it comes to creating a safe environment in your manufacturing plant, many people may jump to introducing safety procedures, performing regular maintenance checks and having secure, quality equipment. While all of these are important, there’s one factor that many employers overlook: having engaged employees.
As it turns out, employee engagement is actually critical for ensuring a safe work space – something that should be a top priority for all manufacturing firms around the world. Research shows that manufacturing firms with high levels of employee engagement can reduce safety-related incidents on site up to 70%. Why is that? Let’s take a look:
1. Engaged employees feel responsible to report potential hazards
Being engaged at work means you have a good understanding of the company’s mission and philosophies, and are likely to perform your work in ways that attribute to these values. As such, if maintaining exceptional safety standards at all times is a core value at your plant, it’s likely that engaged employees will go out of their way to report and fix these hazards to maintain the safety of the workplace.
2. Engaged employees are more alert when performing tasks
Ever caught yourself zoning out at work while you were sitting in a boring meeting or doing a mundane, routine task? That’s disengagement. And when that’s something you consistently feel all day, everyday at work, it means you’re not paying attention to your surroundings or the task you’re working on. This may be harmless in the average office job, but when you’re working with dangerous, fast-moving machinery, it can lead to many high-risk situations and accidents.
3. Engaged employees go out of their way to assist co-workers
When employees are engaged at work, it likely means that they have a strong connection with their coworkers and managers. Whether this is on a professional or personal level, it means that they’re more likely to speak up, warn, or help out other fellow staff in the case of a high-risk situation. Creating an environment where workers look out for each other is a sure and simple way to reduce injuries that can be prevented.
4. Engaged employees care about the quality of their output
Safety and productivity often come hand in hand – when safety is compromised and leads to machinery breakdowns, absent workers and maintenance downtime, it significantly hurts the output of the company. Engaged employees who care about producing quality output will see the importance of this, and are more likely to encourage and implement safety procedures themselves and with those around them.