It isn’t enough to simply teach all the proper safety procedures; organizations must also find a way to motivate employees to care enough about workplace safety to want to make it a priority on the job.

Motivating Employees to Care About Safety

By Josh Ownby September 8, 2017

Encouraging employee safety awareness is a challenge for managers and leaders in industries where workplace safety and risk are ever-present concerns. It isn’t enough to simply teach all the proper safety procedures; organizations must also find a way to motivate employees to care enough about workplace safety to want to make it a priority on the job.

Workplace Safety Statistics Underline the Risks

Numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are shockingly serious for anyone who works outside the home: in a recent year, more than 4,300 people were killed and more than 3.5 million people were injured on the job. With data like that, you would think everyone would sit up and take notice during mandated safety training. And yet, learning about safety procedures can be dry and tedious and sometimes employees “tune out.”

Learning safety protocols is an exercise of the brain: teaching the proper procedures to take to avoid accidents and mitigate risks. But motivating employees to care about safety - so that they want to practice those safe behaviors and don’t have to be reminded - that appeals to the heart. And one very effective way to reach employees’ hearts is through real-life stories of other people who’ve faced workplace safety challenges.

Build a Commitment to Safe Behaviors with Safety Awareness Training Videos

Safety training videos that tell stories of real, devastating workplace accidents or crises that were skillfully avoided, are great ways to build safety awareness and a commitment to safe behaviors on the job. Employees hear people tell their own stories of how their lives were forever changed by failing to put workplace safety first. For example, Every Choice Matters is a high-impact training video that goes beyond the technical “how-tos” of safety by featuring interviews with people who’ve been injured in workplace safety accidents, or who’ve lost a loved one. This kind of storytelling motivates employees by creating a desire to avoid the negative fates of others.

Another type of motivation involving safety awareness comes from watching inspirational true stories of people successfully avoiding accidents and catastrophes. Employee incentive can be encouraged by illustrating these positive outcomes. One such story is featured in the video Miracle on the Hudson: Prepare for Safety. In it, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger recalls how he drew upon his safety training and experience to steer his disabled US Airways jet to a wet but miraculously safe landing in the Hudson River.

Engage Employees with Real-Life Safety Stories

Workplace safety awareness training can be a dry and tedious exercise. It’s extremely important to find ways to engage employees. Media Partners offers safety training videos that connect with people via real-life stories of safety challenges and successes. Explore Media Partners’ entire collection of workplace safety training videos.