Workplace safety and employee engagement go hand in hand. An engaged employee is a safe employee. To boost employee engagement, introduce safety practices into the workplace to promote safe work habits and boost morale. Employee engagement plays a large role in safety and is especially important in the construction industry.

Employee engagement in the construction industry

An average of 14 workers died on the job each day in 2016. Of those fatalities, 1 in 5 were construction workers. Construction’s fatal four are the leading cause of worker deaths in the industry, responsible for 64 percent of fatalities. The fatal four includes:

  • Falls
  • Being struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Caught in or between

At 39 percent, falls were the largest cause of death among workers in construction. The No.1 most frequently cited OSHA standard violation between Oct. 2016 and Sept. 2017 was fall protection. There is a clear correlation between workplace fatalities and workplace safety. OSHA provides safety standards in order to protect workers and maintain a safe environment. Engaged employees are the key to a safe work environment. 

According to a meta-analysis by Gallup, companies with high employee engagement had 62 percent fewer safety incidents than those with lower employee engagement. Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their work and fully involved with their company. Employee’s are more like to be engaged in the company’s policies, procedures and safety standards when they feel valued by their employer.

To be sure employees are fully engaged in the company, employers should be fully engaged with them. This means the employer should involve employees in decisions regarding the workplace, engage in open communication and invest in their future with the company.

Involve employees

Involving employees in important decisions, meetings and activities will make them feel like they are an important part of the company. When employees feel like their input is important they are more likely to engage. Give employees the opportunity to help make decisions and involve them in regular breaks to discuss safety.

Employees should be involved in any safety management system in place. For example, select several employees who can help with safety initiatives in the office. Those employees can help engage others in conversation about those safety initiatives.

Open communication

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful company, team or relationship. Open communication among coworkers and supervisors can boost morale and engagement. Schedule opportunities for employees to ask questions or get feedback about safety issues or their safety performance. Encourage them to discuss safety topics with each other on a regular basis.

Employers should always listen to, consider and respect employee ideas, giving positive feedback and praise when necessary. Recognize and praise employee’s safe work habits. This will encourage them to keep up the safe practices.

Invest in their future

Investing in your employees future with the company will make them feel a sense of importance. Provide and implement necessary safety training for team members. Encourage team members to set personal safety goals. Motivate them by giving positive feedback and presenting small gifts for milestones reached. Getting employees to feel they are growing with the company and making process will bring engagement in all aspects.