Everyone has the right to go to work and come home safely without being exposed to unnecessary risks and hazards. Modern health and safety standards are built around this right to be safe at work, and it is the responsibility of managers and business owners to ensure this. Those who hold this responsibility should also regularly reassure employees of this commitment, which in turn can ensure employee confidence and dedication to safe working.
A safety campaign can be one of the most effective ways to energize employees and get them thinking more clearly about their own safety, as well as the safety of others.
Why Start a Safety Campaign?
A common flaw with modern safety programs is the tendency to repeat the same concepts each year. This can get boring and lead to a decrease in enthusiasm. Proper manager buy in and dedication is needed to fully engage employees with fresh, exciting campaigns which reintroduce well-worn but important topics in a fresh and exciting way.
When planned and implemented well, safety campaigns allow employees to focus on productivity and teamwork—armed with the knowledge that they are safe and free from workplace threats. The benefits of a well-executed safety campaign do not end with the campaign itself; it can also contribute to continuous improvement and have a lasting impact on safety culture.
Tips for a Successful Safety Campaign
Before doing anything, you should first clearly define your objectives. Knowing your goals can make the difference between a successful launch and an unsuccessful one. You should answer these questions before starting:
1. What is the Desired Outcome of the Safety Campaign?
In the words of modern business management expert Peter Drucker, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” The purpose of a campaign is to achieve a specific safety goal. You need to be crystal clear on the purpose and how to measure progress before beginning.
2. What is the Focus of Your Safety Campaign?
Now that you know what you want to achieve, ask yourself what it is you want to promote or prevent. Are you focusing on a particular type of hazard? Or are you trying to reduce a specific type of injury?
Singapore’s Workplace Safety and Health Council has compiled a list of the most common injury and hazard types per industry. The council also studied all the workplace injuries that transpired from 2018 to 2019 and identified the following industries as high-risk:
- Transportation & Storage
Use the references above to create appropriate prevention and response plans for the industry you work in. Ultimately, focus on what will most directly contribute to your desired outcome.
3. What is Your Safety Campaign’s Budget?
A great campaign doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. However, you should budget for typical costs such as posters, training, safety events or even employee incentives. If your budget won’t stretch to all of these things, ask yourself which will offer the most significant impact.
4. What is Your Safety Campaign’s Title or Name?
Think of your campaign as in-house marketing. You need a catchy motto, title or tagline that everyone will remember. The name should communicate what you are trying to achieve.
5. How Long Will the Safety Campaign Last?
Timing is critical. As the acronym SMART teaches us, all goals must be:
- Specific - Your goal should be simple, sensible, and significant. Having a clear objective in mind helps bring in the motivation and focus your efforts.
- Measurable - By having measurable goals, you will be able to monitor your safety campaign’s progress and determine whether things are on the right track.
- Achievable - Some things will be beyond your control and you will only be successful if you set attainable goals. Look at the opportunities and resources available to you and work accordingly.
- Relevant - Make sure the goal you are setting aligns with other goals and matches the present needs and efforts.
- Timebound - Having a defined timeline creates a sense of urgency.
The amount of time should be enough to reasonably accomplish the objective, while short enough that you are able to maintain focus and momentum.
Additional Tips for Success
Once you have the essential elements in place, use the following tips to increase the success of your safety campaign:
- Use social media to help build awareness
- Host an event to generate more energy
- Advertise using posters, t-shirts, or prizes
- Have employees spread the word by visiting other departments
Types of Safety Campaigns
Evaluate the types of safety campaigns and choose one that will best suit your unique objectives. To help you get started, we have included 11 simple and proven health and safety campaigns to help you create yours.
1. Time-Based Safety Campaigns
Time-based safety campaigns are used to accomplish a goal by a certain date. These are great for maintaining focus because there is always an end date in mind. Some examples include:
1.a 100% Safe Access in 2020 – Challenge your workforce to keep a perfect safe access record throughout the year. Embarking on a campaign that takes a year to accomplish can change habits over the long term.
1.b Skylight Fall Hazard Blitz – Focus on solving a specific problem like making sure that skylights are protected. Launch a campaign focused on identifying unprotected skylights and implementing skylight protection over the short term which will translate to long-term impact.
2. Hazard-Based Safety Campaigns
Hazard-based campaigns focus on eliminating a specific issue. These campaigns often include training to ensure that the risk is reduced. Some examples include:
2.a Fall Prevention – Focusing on fall prevention should consist of training on equipment, alternatives to eliminate the risk of falling, or an emphasis on housekeeping and using the handrails.
2.b Work at Height Safety –Safety while working on roofs could focus on a different hazard each week, such as accessing the roof, skylights, the pitch of the roof, and fall protection options.
2.c Fire Prevention – A campaign like a fire prevention month can educate employees from the office to the factory floor, ensuring everyone gains an understanding of their unique risks and what they can do to reduce them.
2.d One Month of Anchor Point Solutions – If you have highlighted lack of knowledge around a certain issue such as anchor points, it may be worth spending some time introducing and educating employees on solutions. If you focus on the options available, performance will improve alongside the knowledge of the workforce.
3. Performance-Based Safety Campaigns
A performance-based safety campaign can be hyper-focused by making sure everyone understands the initiative instantly. Here are a few examples of performance-based safety campaigns:
3.a Improved Fall Protection Planning in 2020 – Find a measurable metric such as requiring all tasks involving fall protection to be planned one week before taking plac then track that goal across departments and communicate out to the workforce. e
3.b Zero Falls – Looking to reduce falls to zero? Set an end date and remind employees of useful ways they can reduce their risk of falling. Track the number of falls and compare that information to previous data.
3.c 100% Fire Extinguisher Inspections – Conduct refresher training so employees understand how to inspect extinguishers and assign accountability to those individuals responsible for inspections. Track and communicate the success of the safety campaign.
3.d Employee Observations – Many companies struggle to get employees to report near misses, incidents, and observations. Keeping a tally of the observations submitted, along with incentives for quality reporting, can improve employee involvement in the safety program and make the workforce more aware of day-to-day safety. An additional benefit is that management can improve communication with some employees who may otherwise not be heard.
3.e Workplace Ergonomics Optimization - An ergonomically-sound workplace reduces body pains among employees. Poor ergonomics leads to a decline in their productivity rate.
Start a campaign around improving workplace ergonomics by asking employees to share their concerns and provide constructive feedback on how office ergonomics can be improved. A good place to start is encouraging employees to answer this quiz prepared by the WSH Council, in partnership with Total WSH Service Providers, to help them assess the ergonomics of their immediate workplace surroundings.
A safety campaign targeted at a safe return to work in lieu of the current COVID-19 pandemic and should be a priority. Regardless of your industry, national guidelines that cover all aspects of the business are in place to guide you in creating a detailed health & safety campaign for your employees.
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, in partnership with the Building and Construction Authority, requires employers in the construction sector to accomplish a few paperworks and perform various safety housekeeping before resuming operations:
- On Applying for a Restart
- On the Resumption of All Renovation Works
- On the Resumption of Construction Work for Employers of Foreign Workers
More COVID-related information and guidelines for the Construction sector can be found on the Building and Construction Authority’s website.
Knowing the specific protocols and requirements for your industry will help you design an effective and government-compliant safety campaign. Careful planning and execution are essential to success, and partnering with a safety expert will ensure a fool-proof campaign.
At Kee Safety, we provide HSE Managers with additional tools to ensure the success of their safety campaigns through our comprehensive end-to-end turnkey safety solutions. As global leaders in fall protection equipment, we offer expert consulting knowledge and site surveys that will help identify the relevant types of safety campaigns you should prioritize, and determine the most pressing safety gaps to address immediately.
A safety campaign is a fantastic way to shed new light on old topics and engage the workforce, and a successful campaign can leave everyone with a sense of accomplishment and pride. However, proper planning is a vital part of ensuring this success.