Facility Executive - Creating Intelligent Buildings

Employee Engagement For Workplace Safety

By Michael Kruklinski

Setting the precedent for health and safety in a company involves more than just having procedures in a handbook. If you want to mitigate accidents altogether on your company’s work sites, every employee needs to be invested in the safety procedures in place. While it may seem impossible, a Zero Harm Culture can be achievable with these five steps from Siemens Real Estate.

Be proactive, not reactive. Health and safety should not only be discussed with employees after an accident has occurred. For Zero Harm Culture to become a reality, health and safety procedures need to be regularly addressed. At Siemens, we start each meeting with a “safety moment” to emphasize protocol as a priority.

Conduct risk analysis. Before the work starts, the site should be thoroughly scrutinized for potential hazards. This way, site managers can provide employees with any precautionary information before they step foot into a hazard. This also helps keep safety top of mind while work is in progress.

Incorporate Zero Harm Culture into company culture. Whether you’re working in an office or on-site, employees at every level should be fully aware of standard health and safety procedures. It is everyone’s responsibility to work towards setting Zero Harm Culture standards — even employees who are not operating machinery.

Article author Michael Kruklinski (second from left) at a recent site visit at Siemens Pacifico-sub region headquarters in Lima, Peru. (Photo: Siemens)

Train employees with Zero Harm Culture standards. Practicing Zero Harm Culture procedures on the job is only possible if everyone involved with a project fully understands the necessary safety procedures. Discussing these measures with your employees face-to-face before they start any project encourages them to ask questions and ensures that they are prepared for the unexpected.

Encourage peer-checking. Everyone is accountable for their own performance when on site, but taking the extra step and looking out for those around you is a necessary practice. This also helps keep safety a priority among the full site team. With peer-to-peer check-ins, the chances of an accident occurring can reach zero.

Adopting a Zero Harm Culture into the business not only ensures the safety of employees, but also keeps your company more competitive in the marketplace. When a company invests in its employees, the employees invest in the company and the work. Zero Harm Culture is possible by making safety a way of life for the business.

Kruklinski is head of Siemens Real Estate for the Americas. Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global firm focused on electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy, healthcare, infrastructure, and cities sectors. In 2005, Kruklinski rejoined Siemens Corporation as vice president for strategic planning. Prior to 2005, he was a senior principal in the Financial Institution/High Tech Industrials Group at A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm.