Workplace safety isn't important only in high-risk jobs such as construction. Every workplace has potential dangers that require employees to be cautious. They might include lifting a heavy box of paper, remembering to unplug the copier before you work on that stubborn paper jam or marking and mopping up spills quickly. Smart, well-written slogans can help to keep employees focused on safety at work.
How Slogans Help
Whether the slogan is cute, funny or straightforward, it's a quick way to remind employees about the importance of safety. In every office setting, employees often try to lift heavy items, move furniture or use the stairs. Slogans such as, "Lifting's a breeze when you bend at the knees," help employees to remember the proper way to lift. A sign with a photo of a cell phone crossed out with a red "X" might read "be alert, don't get hurt," which can be especially helpful near the stairs -- people tend to continue texting while walking, which can be hazardous near stairways. Workplaces that handle chemicals in a lab or distribution setting might need specialized slogans, such as, "All those in favor of safety glasses, say 'Eye'."
When you're trying to get employees to focus on safety, get them involved in coming up with the workplace slogan. This gives them a sense of ownership, and they're more likely to notice the signs and remember the message. Have a couple of slogans ready to get things started, then have the staff write their own down on slips of paper. That helps the folks who are too shy to yell out their ideas. Read the slogans and have the group vote on the best ones.
Slogans work best if they're reinforced regularly. Hold safety meetings with your staff to share safety success stories and remind employees of the dangers around the office. Try fun activities such as a safety sign scavenger hunt, breaking your staff into teams and seeing who can find all the safety signs first. Quiz them on what the safety slogans means and how they apply to your office.
Back It Up
With any safety plan, a written policy is key to keeping employees on track and limiting employer liability. Use the slogan on the cover and throughout your safety policy manual to drill it into your employee's thought process. If your office supports a manufacturing facility, a slogan such as, "Hearing protection is a sound investment," could remind office workers to use earplugs before heading into the factory portion of the facility. Use your written policy to spell out the dangers in detail and why hearing protection is so important for your company. Have all employees sign it to acknowledge they've read the safety policies. Then, when they see the slogan, they know exactly what it means.
Based outside Atlanta, Ga., Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995. Beginning her career at newspapers such as the "Marietta Daily Journal" and the "Atlanta Business Chronicle," she most recently worked in communications and management for several nonprofit organizations before purchasing a flower shop in 2006. She earned a BA in communications from Jacksonville State University.