Cultivating a culture of safety in the workplace is essential across all industries. It’s particularly important if you or your employees work in highly regulated environments. Ensuring that all employees have been trained in proper safety procedures and techniques is crucial to your company’s day-to-day operations.

That said, simply holding annual or biannual training seminars isn’t enough. Your goal is to instill a set of values in your employees that involves prioritizing safety naturally. Similarly to how continuous performance management allows employers to give regular feedback, safety training should be constantly growing and evolving with the workplace. The following tips will help you achieve that goal.

Focus on Internal Processes and Standards

In jobs that involve working in highly regulated environments, it’s often necessary to rely on third parties to provide employees with the necessary safety training. While this can be important at times, having an external party conducting the training will leave a minimal impact on your overall safety culture.

That’s why it’s also important to focus on any steps you can take internally to boost your workers’ safety. You can do so by shifting from a training mindset to a learning mindset. A workplace culture that emphasizes training removes a lot of responsibility from the employee. In this environment, instructors are responsible for presenting training programs at scheduled events, and workers aren’t encouraged to take opportunities to learn more about proper safety standards.

A learning culture is one in which employees are given the responsibility (and resources) to continuously learn what they can do to keep themselves and their coworkers safe on the job. This type of workplace culture has been shown to boost employee engagement.

You can develop this type of culture within your company by giving employees regular opportunities to suggest changes you may need to make to your safety processes. This shifts a worker’s mindset. Instead of waiting for the next training seminar to even think about new safety protocols, workers are encouraged to actively seek out ways the company can improve its policies. 

Emphasize Engagement

Staying safe in highly regulated environments requires a certain degree of vigilance on the part of your employees. That’s one reason Gallup finds that engaged employees are more likely to contribute to a workplace safety culture. When they’re actively interested in their jobs, staff are more attuned to the risks they or their coworkers may encounter.

You can boost employee engagement by maintaining open lines of communication. Surveys show that when managers regularly communicate with their employees and provide feedback, engagement increases.

This applies to your company’s values. Regularly communicate your safety values and recognize employees for adhering to all necessary standards and expectations. Doing so will have the dual effect of boosting engagement and reminding your workers that safety is a top priority at your company.

It’s impossible to run a successful business in a highly regulated environment without putting safety first. By focusing on ways you can develop a culture of safety, you’ll enjoy the benefits that come from having a proactive team that cares just as much about preventing accidents as you.