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Module 2: Employee Involvement

Overview

Employee involvement provides the means through which workers develop and express their own commitment to
safety and health.

The best safety and health management systems involve employees at every level of the organization.  Employees are often those
closest to the hazard, and have the most first-hand knowledge of workplace hazards.  Clearly, the employer has ultimate
responsibility for its workers, however, using employees’ knowledge and experience to help identify and resolve problems can
make the system more effective.

Examples of how employees and employee representatives can be included in the safety and health management system include:

Examples of effective employee involvement include participation in:

Employee involvement should also be recognized.  Recognition encourages employees to use safe work practices and to integrate safety
into the fabric of their jobs.   Involving employees and using safe-behavior reinforcement develops a positive approach to managing the
safety and health process.

Topic 1: Safety and Health Committees

Effective safety and health systems are built with good safety and health committees.  A safety and health committee is a group of
employees who work on matters of worker safety and health.  The committee can serve as a channel for action on suggestions and
ideas submitted by employees or from in-house inspections.  The type and membership of safety committees varies depending on the size
and structure of the organization. 

Activity

Committee Checklist
Have your safety and health committee complete an effectiveness questionnaire.  Compare your responses with other members. 
Use the outcomes of the checklist to identify your strengths and weaknesses and develop action plans for improvements.

Tools

Topic 2: Safety Contests and Incentives

Safety contests and incentive programs can create interest and participation in an organized safety and health management
system.  They are not a substitute for a good system, but may help motivate employees, help promote team building and heighten
awareness of worker safety and health.

Contests should be designed to increase employee involvement and participation in activities such as safety inspections, researching
answers to safety and health quizzes and communicating with other employees about safety and health.  Incentives focused on reducing
accidents are not recommended as they may create reluctance for employees to report injuries and illnesses.

A few things to keep in mind when planning a safety contest or incentive:

Activity

Children’s Creative Art Work Contest

Safety is everyone’s responsibility.  Do your children or grandchildren know what you do at work?  Do they know that you
have safety rules and may have to wear safety equipment?

A contest involving children and grandchildren will help start safety awareness at a young age.  Have children draw a picture
of “What my family member does at work” or “How my family member stays safe for me at work.”

Here are some contest suggestions: 

Set specific age groups (preschoolers, K-2nd, 3rd-4th, etc.).
Choose one winner from each age group and send to MIOSHA (we will post the winners on our web site).
Offer participation awards or prizes.
Offer a raffle for all participants.
Display artwork in the lunchroom or a visible place for all to see.

Topic 3: Safety & Health is Everyone’s Responsibility

No one wants anyone to be injured at work.  Encourage all employees to communicate with each other about unsafe actions and
conditions.  Emphasize that it is not “ok” to choose to look the other way.

Activity

Tools  

Topic 4: Safety & Health Posters

Safety and health posters alert people to safe and healthful work practices.  Consideration should be given to:

Activity

Poster Check

Have safety and health committee review current posters in your facility and make recommendation for new posters.

Tools

Topic 5: Suggestion System

Employees have ideas that can help improve work methods and reduce hazards.  Frequently these ideas get lost because
there is no effective way to present them.  A well-organized suggestion system encourages contributions from employees. 
The following are several things to consider when designing a suggestion system:

Activities

Employee Suggestion Program

Why I Choose to Work Safe Bulletin Board

Tool