Outage season is intense. The sudden upswing in work and productivity demands a large team of technically skilled workers. You are likely hiring hundreds of contract or hourly employees in the space of a few weeks. Going from a staff 200 to 800 in a short period of time has a number of challenges, but maintaining an emphasis on safety should be a top priority.

The Value of Safety Culture

The fast-paced nature of outage season increases the risk of near misses, accidents, and workers’ compensation claims. Careless or rushed work will inevitably lead to costly mistakes, in terms of your workers well-being as well as your bottom line. Investing in a work culture founded on the importance of safety is critical to creating a strong, productive, and healthy workforce.

The value of safety culture is apparent in more than the simple avoidance of a bad audit score (and the associated penalties). The failings of a weak safety culture are often signs of other problems of guidance and communication. Establishing a strong commitment to a culture of safety shows robust leadership and a dedicated workforce.

Tips for Establishing and Maintaining Safety Priorities

Safety culture is best defined as the product of individual and group values, attitudes, and competencies that establish an overall commitment to a company’s safety program. Defining and providing leadership in regards to establishing that safety culture is key. Your workers should know what to do in case of an accident, how to respond in an emergency, how and who to report to in the case of a near miss or an incident, and how the organization will respond.

A solid safety culture is built on a number of key organizational values. Those values include strong leadership, high standards, maintaining a sense of vulnerability, worker empowerment, open and effective communication, mutual trust, timely response to safety issues and concerns, continuous monitoring of performance, accountability across all levels of the organization, and the creation of a learning environment. Should a safety incident occur, the best thing you can do is learn from it. It is the responsibility of a company’s leadership to dictate safety guidelines and procedures. From there, safety is, and should be promoted as, everyone’s responsibility.

Training New Staff Efficiently

Comprehensive safety training for new employees and contractors during outage season is critical. Safety awareness training and kick-off meetings are important for all new staff to participate in. It is not enough for senior employees and management to be involved in the safety program. Always keep in mind, safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Make your safety training more efficient by having it led by a true safety expert (either internal or external), provide overviews before and after safety presentations, test staff on what they have learned, and increase mental retention by providing hands-on learning experiences. Remember, the most effective safety training is one that results in fewer incidents.

A culture of safety is important when working with Global Power Workforce Solutions. We require a high bar to be set in the workplace. Find out more by working with our power generation staffing services.

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