health & safety
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Diversifying the safety committee can increase the benefits your
organization enjoys and help the company get the most from the
committee. Age, race, gender and culture are generally associated
with the term diversity. However, diversity is not just what
is seen at the surface. Diversity can also mean differences in opinions,
skills, knowledge and abilities, as well as differences in ethics,
beliefs and values.
Keep the safety committee motivated to do a good job by offering
regular coaching, opportunities for specialized training and by
recognizing the committee for a job well done. Recognition may
come in the form of a simple thank you or a more official acknowledgement
during meetings. In addition to appreciation, praise and
development opportunities, participating in regular team-building
activities may also increase a safety committee’s motivation and
effectiveness. The different ways of keeping the committee motivated
are limited only by imagination. Try surprising them with
donuts during the next meeting, paying for attendance at a seminar
or setting up contests for prizes for identifying hazards or
placing cost-effective controls. Keeping the committee motivated
is one of the best ways to ensure maximum effectiveness.
When the best and most diverse members of a health and safety
committee have been recruited and are operating as a highly motivated
unit, an organization should make an effort to retain them.
The organization stands to lose if the team it worked so hard to
put together dissolves within a few months. Motivation and retention
go hand-in-hand, and a highly motivated safety committee
will be more easily retained than one that is not engaged. Consider
developing a retention strategy. As well, ensure that the committee
has the tools they need for success. Allow them time to meet, use
of an appropriate space and proper support. With these in place,
the safety committee will continue to work together in order to
meet the organization’s overall safety goals.
To get the most out of the health and safety committee, the best and
most diverse members must be recruited, motivated and retained.
However, none of those elements will matter under weak leadership.
Above all else, to get the most from the safety committee,
they must be given support from the top down, by a management
team that walks the walk. When top management buys in to safety
culture, so too will the rest of the workforce, making the job of
the safety committee easy and fulfilling. Safety is easier to manage
when everyone embodies its spirit and intention.
Get the most out of the safety committee
by speaking with actions instead of words when
recommendations are made or when important
ideas for safety improvements are brought
forth. Lead by example.
The health and safety committee plays an
important part in an organization’s overall success.
It is essential and beneficial for businesses
to get the most from the committee so that all
parties can enjoy the mutual benefit of an effective,
efficient, motivated safety team. n
Jennifer Miller is the curriculum development
coordinator for Occupational Safety Group in
THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF KEEPING
THE COMMITTEE MOTIVATED ARE
LIMITED ONLY BY IMAGINATION.
32 ❚ APRIL 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL