Safety inspectors know what to look for – but they might need a refresher on holding the “correction conversation”: explaining job hazards in such a way that your workers can see the potential danger, understand how it can hurt them, and suggest how to eliminate it.
To have an effective Correction Conversation, we’d recommend that safety inspectors follow these guidelines:
- Try to make it personal. “Kneeling on the floor for the day is going to turn your knees into jelly in a few years.”
- Tie the hazardous activity or condition to pain. “This night watchman dropped his flashlight, and when he bent down to pick it up, the rebar went right through his eye.”
- Make comparisons. These cable clamps might work, but the fist-grips kind are the ones that should be used. See – they look like two fists gripping.”
- Shift the blame. “I’m not sure who set this up, but because those cable clamps are upside down they won’t hold much. Just flip them over and torque them again.”
- Connect the correction to something the workers can share. Pass along additional information. Keep it simple, and use graphics whenever possible, If the concern is not having an eyewash station near a concrete pour, send a photo of a what a worker’s eye looks like after a concrete burn.
- Share a story. “I can beat that!” This phrase continues conversation in bars across the world. Tell a workplace hazard anecdote that you’ve heard or witnessed – and then stop talking! Chances are another worker will share a similar story. One-upmanship is a skill we all enjoy, and helps keeps a good Correction Conversation alive.