Safety Blog: Safety Culture is Best in Small Groups

By Jeff Woods

According to “Corporation Man” author Antony Jay, humans are more efficient when working in small groups. Experience in health, safety, and environmental management will reveal that smaller groups are more productive and yield a stronger safety culture.

Striving to maintain a culture of safety at all levels of your company becomes a monumental task when you add quick turnaround schedules, multiple projects, and the pressures associated with changes to your work site.

Here are some best practices to create a safety culture made stronger by small groups:

  • Break your employees into small groups (10-15 people) and group them by tasks they will be completing together or performing in the same work area
  • Create a meeting time or task at the beginning of the day, and have workers state to the group what they are doing, vocalize any risks associated with the job, and discuss relevant mitigations
  • Build camaraderie by stretching together, discussing safety goals, or conferring about how each person has a responsibility for safely doing each task
  • Discuss your short service employee or supervised safety employee program (SSE) and how to help new employees become aware of risks through mentoring
  • Use rewards or incentives, and praise employees in small group meetings to champion the safe behaviors they have demonstrated

Creating a safety culture within small groups is paramount to the overall success of a company. Workplace projects as a whole will benefit, and employees will not get lost in the overwhelming number of new people and project schedules if you keep it small.

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Jeff Woods is a Safety Compliance Analyst at Graphic Products. Receive on-site training, consultation, and individual evaluation from Woods and other safety experts with Compliance Assessment Services, a new program by Graphic Products.

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