4.1 Million employees experience a serious injury or illness every year.
With over 4 million employees experiencing a serious injury or illness every year, one of the easiest ways to avert incidents and hazardous situations in the workplace is to communicate with employees about any concerns they have.
Collecting feedback about safety can be difficult, however, especially if it is from workers who are leaving the company to go onto other careers.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), conducting exit interviews can be an effective prevention technique to avert on the job accidents.
Many times, current or past staff members know about potential workplace hazards that business owners may not be aware of. For example, employees may have seen coworkers break rules or exhibit dangerous behavior that their employer hasnâ€™t. By conducting interviews with workers during their last few days on the job, employers have the opportunity to discover information about potential safety hazards.
Communication is key to preventing health hazards
SHRM suggests businesses looking to increase safety conduct exit interviews with employees to understand what the organization can do better or investigate any issues they may not have been aware of. Meeting with a departing employee may be hard as the worker will no longer be a member of staff, but employers may want to consider focusing on positives and being prepared with questions before the interview to decrease the chance of anything unpleasant occurring.
Conducting the meeting one-on-one, asking simple questions and encouraging the worker to summarize their experience may uncover potential red flags. Employers may also want to classify any information gathered as anonymous to prevent employees from retaliating against the worker who was interviewed.
Business owners may consider keeping exit interviews voluntary, as departing staff may not wish to participate. Addressing issues before employees leave the business may help employers avert dangerous situations and address staff concerns.
Small businesses may want to keep in mind that not all safety concerns may come up in an exit interview, and it is important to encourage communication among workers to prevent injuries. Managers may gather feedback through surveys, focus groups or suggestion boxes, and of course your Red Flag Reporting hotline, to prevent any worries from going unnoticed.