Though workplace safety is the responsibility of an employer, employees can participate in the process. We don't have to be observers for the sole purpose of complaining later when something goes wrong. Instead, we should look at what we can control ourselves and strive towards that path.
So how do we take that ownership? Do we wait for the employer to ask or is it something we should seek out?
Many medium sized companies are required to have at least one person responsible for Health and Safety and often have a committee designated so they can establish responsibility and leadership.
In truth, it's that responsibility and leadership that we all have to embrace for there to be a safe and healthy work environment. This applies to all businesses, whether in manufacturing, banking, and anything in between.
3 things you can do to take a leadership role in health and safety
Trust your instincts
If you don't think it's safe then don't compromise your safety.
Speak up when something needs to change. That way, no one else is at risk.
Be the change
Talking about a problem or refusing to do the job is only doing half a job. When you innovate and make the change that's necessary so no one has to go down the risky path then everyone wins.
Sometimes it's by neglect, sometimes it's because of genuine accident. In any case, as employees, we have the opportunity to make things safer for everyone. When we take a leadership role then everyone benefits.