How to Communicate Industrial Hygiene Principles to Your Construction Employees

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In most workplaces mistakes can be forgiven and forgotten. On construction sites, the stakes are higher. Errors don’t lead to lost accounts. They lead to injuries, or worse. There are rigorous guidelines set in place to avoid job site catastrophes. For them to be effective, however, you need to make sure that they are well understood by your employees.

Being able to communicate effectively is a key element of keeping your staff safe, and your project moving along smoothly. In this article, we take a look at how to communicate industrial hygiene principles to your construction employees.

What is Industrial Hygiene?

Industrial hygiene is a concept that addresses the various hazards that are encountered on a worksite. The goal of industrial hygiene practices is always to reduce the risk of injury. In some cases, the risks are very immediate — the potential to fall from a great height, the threat of falling objects, and so on.

Other times, the risks play out over the long run. For example, industrial hygiene practices may involve mitigating the risk of repetitive stress injuries — pain that can develop over time as someone performs the same motion over and over again.

On most worksites, the number of threats are many. Construction employees who don’t adequately understand what they are and how to avoid them are at a high risk of experiencing injury.

Below, we look at a few ways that you can communicate the importance of industrial hygiene practices, and make sure that the policies you enact on the job site are followed consistently.

Lead By Example

Employees in every industry want to see their supervisors practice the things that they preach. If you are to establish industrial hygiene as an important standard on your worksite, you must first make sure that you are following all the recommended guidelines yourself.

Review the industrial hygiene standards very carefully, and ask yourself if there are any ways that you are not living up to them. Not only does syncing your behavior with your words provide the job site with important continuity, but it also builds a bond between you and your employees.

People working within almost every industry respond well to supervisors that come across as honest and transparent.

Train Thoroughly

Of course, if you want your employees to understand industrial hygiene in a meaningful way, it’s important to provide them with a detailed and thorough education. Some of the concepts and practices may be difficult to grasp at first — particularly for employees who are already very used to working differently.

Regular and thorough training will help ingrain habits and set expectations.

Be Firm but Forgiving

There can be no leniency in how you standardize industrial hygiene. For the safety of all your employees, it’s important to establish strict adherence to these guidelines as the rules and expectations.

That said, mistakes will inevitably get made — sometimes on accident, other times on purpose. When these situations do crop up, it’s important to clearly articulate how the behavior in question strayed from what you expected.

However, it’s also important to be as forgiving as possible. Creating an environment where everyone feels like they are walking on eggshells may stall productivity and create a hostile work dynamic.

Of course, there are limitations to how forgiving you can reasonably be. If an industrial hygiene guideline failure results in injury, serious action may be required. This is a discretionary matter.

In other situations, however, you’ll be better served to remind and educate employees of their safety responsibilities.

Refresh Their Understanding

Over time, workplace standards often dip as workers look for more efficient ways to do their jobs. Without continuous training and regular reminders, it is very easy for industrial hygiene standards to fall by the wayside, particularly as your team becomes busily engaged in their projects.

To prevent this from happening, make sure to provide regular reminders. Post notices. Address violations as they occur. Always prioritize demonstrating proper behavior yourself.

The more ingrained industrial hygiene practices become, the easier they will be to follow reflexively.

Consider Professional Training

If your training efforts aren’t as effective as you would like them to be, consider professional intervention. Professional trainers are good at communicating complex instructions in ways that are once easy to understand and to follow.

Professional training will, of course, cost money. However, accidents cost even more. Providing your staff with a safe, dependable work environment is always a worthy investment.