A new study shows when employees need safety training and information about their jobs, they’re most likely to consult …
… their co-workers rather than a manager or someone in charge of safety.
Why? Because of perceived communication problems with and lack of trust in managers.
Why don’t they trust managers? Workers feel their own workplace knowledge and proposals for practical, cost-effective solutions to safety and health problems aren’t taken into account. In other words, workers feel managers aren’t listening to them.
Workers’ Perception of Chemical Risks: A Focus Group Study also found that employees are less likely to consult material safety data sheets and labeling systems because they’re frequently difficult to understand and not user friendly.
Here’s another scary finding from the study: Many workers are resigned to accepting safety risks as just being “part of the job.”
What’s the solution? Safety leaders need to understand workers’ perceptions about safety by listening to them more often. Safety training should include employee participation and focus less on lectures from managers.