A common theme among successful EHS programs is awareness and understanding among employees. Employees need to know what EHS is, why it’s important, and how they can contribute to a healthier and safer work environment. But oftentimes this isn’t the case. According to our research, 72% of employees are largely unaware of their company’s EHS function.
Holding an annual EHS Awareness Day can be a great way to encourage engagement and make EHS more visible. It’s an excellent opportunity to shine a light on often overlooked safety issues, show employees their safety is a company priority, and drive toward creating a company culture where EHS is understood and valued.
Below we dive into 7 tips that can help EHS managers plan and execute a successful EHS Awareness Day.
1. Assemble your team.
Planning and executing a successful EHS Awareness Day should be a team effort. Create a cross-functional team by asking employees from all key departments to participate.
Including employees from multiple departments not only allows you to tap into new perspectives and delegate responsibilities to the most relevant team members, you’ll also be able to establish a culture where EHS is valued in every aspect of the company.
2. Lockdown the date and venue.
Once you’ve assembled your team, work together to choose a date that will not interfere with statutory or religious holidays, or peak vacation times among employees. If you plan on bringing in outside speakers, confirm their availability before settling on the date.
In addition, minimize stress by making sure your team has adequate time to plan. Depending on the size of your company, start planning 4 to 6 months in advance.
As for the venue, your office or facility provides the perfect backdrop for the event. Holding your event in the trenches will allow you to connect employees with EHS in an authentic environment, making your message more meaningful.
3. Create a detailed master plan.
A master plan is a document that houses and organizes essential event details such as contact information for speakers and presenters, team member responsibilities, promotional tactics and a thorough itinerary for the day of the event.
Utilize a cloud-based document sharing tool so that all team members can access and update event details in real-time.
4. Promote the event to get people excited.
Just because employee attendance is required doesn’t mean you can’t get employees excited about the event by taking time to promote the speakers, activities, contests, prizes, food or anything else you have planned for the day.
Promotion can be done through an email campaign, creating signage to hang throughout the facility, or by empowering your team members to be ambassadors for the project they’re working to put together.
5. Include interactive elements.
Interactive stations can be a fun and engaging way to shine a light on safety issues that are often overlooked or unforeseen. For example, set up a typical workstation to display improper ergonomics or other safety hazards such as exposed electrical cords. Then ask employees to name all the hazards they see. This gives employees a real look at potential issues and hazards, while also encouraging questions and engagement.
Other ideals for interactive stations could be a booth demonstrating how to make adjustments on the office chair and use of various ergonomics equipment such as foot rests, different key boards, and sit-stand workstations. If you have AEDs at your facility, have an AED and demonstrate how to use it. And a sure-fire way to attract attention is to have the local fire department come in and do hands-on training on fire extinguisher use – handy for the office and home.
6. Hold a Q&A session.
Holding an open discussion about EHS is one of the best ways to inform and engage your employees. A Q&A session gives employees an opportunity to discuss aspects they don’t understand or give feedback that can improve current processes.
Before the event, source questions anonymously from employees and identify the top 3 most commonly asked questions. On the day of the event, use these questions to get the discussion started.
7. Don’t forget the giveaways!
People love free stuff! Pick small items that are related to EHS, such as first aid kits, flash lights, tote bags and/or water bottles made from recycled materials, even apps for ergonomic reminders to stand and stretch on a regular basis. Putting your company EHS website and/or contact information on the item will remind your employees about EHS in the workplace.
To learn more about planning your own EHS Awareness Day, contact us today.