When we are out in the field measuring the maturity of an organisation in relation to this element, we like to observe what happens in toolbox or start-up meetings. Who does most of the talking, and to what degree do workers present their ideas or get actively involved in the conversation? In essence, this element assesses the level of employee involvement and inclusion in workplace health and safety processes and activities.
In practice, we look for examples of maturity across a range of sub-elements because like the other eleven elements in our Safety Maturity Assessment Model, activities ‘show up’ across many operational and strategic activity areas.
In thinking about your own workforce and how involved and included they are in WHS, what are some questions you could consider to find out how your organisation is travelling in terms of maturity, and opportunity for improvement?
1. Consultation (workforce perception)
Do your people feel like they are consulted to the point where they are part of a team of advocates for safety?
2. Consultation (process, HSE Committees and HSRs)
How consistently are opinions sought, valued and taken in to consideration prior to making decisions?
3. Touch Points (opportunities for employee involvement & inclusion)
How well do your leaders and managers understand, generate, and use touch points?
Is the level of involvement and inclusion systematically measured, reported on and used to inform WHS decisions?
5. Team, Divisions and Contractor Relations
How strong is communication, feedback, and sharing of resources and lessons learned between team members, teams, business divisions and contractors?
Evidence suggests (and our own experience in conducting safety maturity assessments tells us the same), that involving workers has a positive effect on health and safety performance. Developing a relationship with employees that is built on respect, partnership and cooperation goes a long way in preventing ill health and injury at work. The benefits go wider and deeper than health and safety, and impact on the culture of your business more broadly.