Why Does Management Have to Be Involved?

Management has to make the commitment to involve the workforce in safety and health at the work site. Since management is in control, it is their prerogative to decide the extent of involvement depending on what they can endure or the amount of control they can forgo. But there are very real positive outcomes that come from employees' involvement. It is a very real way to gain commitment to safety and health. Safety and health becomes a personal issue for your workforce.

When the door to involvement is opened, the benefits are good, but the Pandora's box that has opened may cause a decision to rethink this commitment. It may be found that many of the problems brought forth are not strictly what one might feel are safety and health issues, but to those in the workforce, they are what they perceive as legitimate subjects to be given consideration. Some of the areas that may come up are as follows:

  • • Workload (time pressures, work pressures, physical aspects of work)
  • • Job control (worker influence over his/her job)
  • • Social support (support of coworkers, supervisors, etc.)
  • • Job satisfaction (with the work and work environment)
  • • Monotonous work (bored with work)
  • • Job clarity (uncertainty of job expectations and ambiguity of worker's role)
  • • Psychological stress
  • • Organizational climate (e.g., high performance expectations)
  • • Organizational culture

Employee involvement will require a commitment by management as well as the feeling that such a commitment is genuine and not some sort of setup. It may require that employers provide training to employees who are expected to take on roles within the safety and health effort that they are not accustomed to. When everyone is committed, employee involvement can be a positive factor in managing the safety and health effort.

In the work environment, it is a good idea to have as many eyes as possible helping to ensure that safety and health policies and procedures are being adhered to. This is much easier to accomplish when an employer has the involvement and commitment of the workforce. This can be achieved by having all employees integrally involved, or possibly, it might be better to work through an organized approach such as a joint committee(s). It must be decided what matches the employer's management approach the best, but some sort of involvement is crucial to safety and health performance in the workplace environment.

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