Creating a Safe Environment Creates a Better Working Relationship with your Employees

Cue the eye roll. We’ve all had many lectures on the importance of safety, and how our actions can determine our safety. It’s easy to blow off this type of information when you’re working with your equipment day in and day out, are familiar with what’s needed, and in general, have been doing it without any major problems for 10-20+ years.

So here’s why I’m going to suggest you stop and consider this once again. On top of the idea that you can have never have too much safety, how you handle safety can effectively build or destroy your working relationship with your employees.

When you consider employees, make sure you include your family members that work on the farm as well. If they are working with you, whether related or not, the same rules apply.

Why is This Important?

Why is This Important?

When you have a better working relationship with your employees, they feel safe enough to bring up issues that need to be addressed. They might be safety related, process related, or in any other area.

Most people are eager to succeed, and they want to help solve problems for their sake as well as yours. If you have created an environment where the employee feels safe, suggestions for improvement in everyone’s work are more likely to appear.

You’re All in This Together

You’ve heard of happy wife, happy life? Well, in short, you can expand that to your employees as well. Employees that feel safe and in a supportive environment are more productive, miss fewer days, and more likely to make effective suggestions. Most importantly, they will make your life easier.

The biggest thing to remember is that you’re all in this together. What you do affects them and vice versa. The more problems you solve for them, the more problems you will solve for yourself as well.

Reward Employees Who Follow Safety Guidelines

Here are 3 simple rewards that will cost you nothing:

  • Recognize employees that followed the guidelines
  • Tell them they did a good job
  • Recognize their performance in front of your team.

All of these suggestions positively reinforce safety guidelines AND build employee morale.

Simply punishing people who screwed up leads to poorer performance. This occurs because everyone is more afraid of making a mistake than getting their work done. Blaming people instead of equipment or other potential issues leads to lower team morale as well.

Look outside of Human Behavior for Root Causes of Mishaps

When you start looking at other reasons for mishaps, minor and major incidents, you create a safer environment for your employees. One where your employees know they are not automatically blamed for a problem. It creates a better team environment, helps lower defenses, and creates more open communication.

Report & Count Near Misses, Minor Incidents and Mishaps

It’s such a simple concept: it’s better to report address minor incidents and near misses than wait for a major accident. Examine process, equipment and human behavior in terms of how to improve. The safety pyramid shows a ratio of near misses and minor incidents to more serious accidents. Whether the ratios hold true or not, an ounce of prevention is easier than waiting for someone to get hurt.

 When employees see that you are addressing situations before people can get hurt, it creates more safety for them, and they feel more valued.

When Your Employees feel Valued, they Perform Better

The bottom line, is that we want people to be safe, and the work to get done. Showing people that you value them, and want them to be safe, leads to better performance all around.


If you’re interested in learning more about our company, products or services, please contact us to discuss in more detail.