Safety is vital in a manufacturing work environment. In 2012, almost three million workplace accidents were reported, accounting for over 900,000 lost days of work and resulting in money and time lost for both workers and the company – not to mention people getting hurt, sometimes seriously or even permanently. In recent years, the trend has been towards fewer accidents, but even a few is too many. You can use your digital signage for workplace safety to spread the word and help reduce accidents.
Spread the Word
Reminders of standard practices and OSHA regulations, such as reporting procedures for spills, correct handling of combustible materials, the need to have a clutter free work environment and proper materials storage are always important, and should be permanently included in your playlists. Posters fade into the background of people’s awareness quite quickly, and just become part of the scenery. Dynamic, well-designed messages in a rotating playlist on your displays are more interesting, and can be changed frequently. A quick redesign can make the same message seem fresh and new, and grab your workers’ attention.
Choose one or two particular areas to highlight each week, perhaps with special message templates or with the addition of movement (add animated text, use a slow pan, etc.). If there’s a good place for it, such as a break room, you might also want to add sound to reinforce the message. Short videos showing dos and don’ts can also be more compelling than just a poster up on the wall.
Displaying statistical data with reminders can also help emphasize tips as well, and puts the need for safety tips in a larger context.
Remind Them What They Are Doing Right
Don’t just make your safety messages about warnings and rules – tell them what they are doing correctly as well. Putting up real-time data on how many days the floor has been accident free, or messages praising people or teams for following correct procedures still reminds people of the importance of safety, but puts a positive spin on things.
Managers could walk around and take photos of correctly stored materials and equipment with a date and time stamp and put them up on the displays with a thank you message to workers. This serves not just as positive reinforcement, but also as a reminder that hopefully affects future behavior.
Give Them More
Chances are that you have extensive rules written down somewhere – put them on a dedicated web page and supply a QR code or short URL in your messages to give your employees quick access to everything they need to know. You could include them at the bottom of safety messages (like “For more info, see [shortURL address or QR code])”, or as separate messages reminding people to go check the policies you all have to follow.
Your employees also may not be aware of their rights – remind them what is available to them, and what systems are already in place. This helps keep it in their minds that management is looking out for them.
Get Them Trained
Safety training doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to be only once a year. Short, informative training videos on digital signs in breaks rooms and other locations workers congregate serve as reminders as well as informing them of procedures in a dynamic, visual way.
If you have interactive touchscreens, you can have training easily accessible on kiosks and employees can take quick refresher modules right there at the screen. The results get logged and stored to be reviewed with the employee and their supervisor later.
Get Them Involved
OSHA and other regulatory bodies have a slew of rules to follow, but you still might have safety needs particular to your facility. Get everyone involved in the process of creating internal standards so they feel a sense of ownership and collaboration with management. Solicit suggestions for procedures and improvements once or twice a year, and advertise this policy on your digital signage. Again, supplying QR codes or short URLs makes it simple for them to access a webpage created for their suggestions, or you could pair kiosks displays with forms stored beneath the screens, for immediate access to the necessary paperwork.
Your workers are the ones down there on the floor, and they see every day what could be done better or safer. Create a system for them to suggest changes and improvements, and report deficiencies. This helps them feels part of the culture of safety in the workplace, and will probably lead to streamlined practices. You could even offer rewards for the best suggestions to boost company morale.
Get Them Engaged
Safety is certainly no laughing matter, but using humor in digital messages makes their content much more memorable. Consider creating safety campaigns that tell a story, or have a mascot, to reinforce your safety messages in a fun and engaging way. If your employees are talking about it in the break room, then you have “gone viral” with your staff and you know the message is getting out there and sticking in people’s minds.
A safe workplace does not happen by accident. It requires that everyone is on the same page – understands what the risks are, knows what to do and how, and is familiar with the correct procedures and why they are in place. By working together and leveraging your digital signage system to create a cohesive culture of safety, everyone can get on with their jobs without worry.