The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has called for an increase in workplace health and safety awareness, despite the difficult economic times. An annual report from EU-OSHA encourages readers to devote time and resources to making health and safety an investment, not a cost.
EU-OSHA director Dr. Christa Sedlatschek realizes companies are facing economic pressure to cut back on health and safety measures, stating, “For many companies, simply surviving in business has become their main focus. Organizations need to remember, though, that good workplace health and safety is vital, not only for ethical reasons, but also for economic competitiveness.”
One area in which the awareness and efforts of health and safety was evident was during the construction of many of the Olympic sites and during the games themselves. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) praised the efforts of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the public body responsible for developing and building the venues for the 2012 Olympic Games.
According to IOSH, the below key takeaways outline communication techniques used during Olympic site construction to increase health and safety in a cost efficient manner.
- Lead from the top –Set standards and engage with the workforce to direct, motivate and change behavior by focusing on its long-term goals.
- Develop competent supervisors – Ensure that supervisors are knowledgeable and utilize communication skills to influence understanding and behavior.
- Foster an open, positive safety culture – Encourage workers to get engaged with the health and safety process in order to make safety a dominating factor of the culture.
- Reward good behavior – Incentives and rewards help promote and encourage safe behavior. In some cases, positive feedback can be the real reward.
- Review and learn – Review and communicate any problems across the organization in order to learn how to improve health and safety.
These techniques provide useful solutions for increasing workplace safety without increasing costs.