Worker Participation

Effective safety and health programs tap into workers' collective experiences, knowledge, and insights in order to find solutions to workplace safety and health challenges.

Why Is It Important?

Workers often know the most about potential hazards associated with their jobs. When they are involved in finding solutions, they feel invested in the program. To maximize participation, however, workers must feel free of any fear of retaliation or discrimination (e.g., for reporting an injury or hazardous conditions).

Workers can participate in many ways, including:

  • Developing the initial program design.
  • Reporting incidents (including near misses) so they can be investigated.
  • Analyzing hazards associated with routine and nonroutine jobs, tasks, and processes.
  • Defining and documenting safe work practices.
  • Conducting site inspections and incident investigations.
  • Training current coworkers and new hires.
  • Evaluating program performance and identifying ways to improve it.


All in on Safety
All in on Safety Challenge

It's important to create an environment where all workers feel included, heard, and respected. Accelerate your program and encourage your workers to be all in on safety!

Take the Challenge

Speak Up for Safety
Speak Up for Safety Challenge

Safety reports contain the information you need to improve workplace safety and health. Use worker participation in this Speak Up for Safety Challenge to review your safety reports with a team.

Take the Challenge

Safety is our Right
Safety is Our Right Challenge

Acknowledging workers' rights shows that you respect your workers. Learn how to host a discussion about workers’ rights and build trust with the Safety is Our Right Challenge.

Take the Challenge

Worksheets and Other Activities

Worker Participation Worksheet – Inclusion in your Policy (PDF)

Worker Participation Worksheet – Workers Rights (PDF)

Safety Climate Assessment Tool (S-CAT)

Support One Another Toolkit (ZIP) Spanish (ZIP)

Resources on Worker Participation

Be Safe + Sound At Work: Worker Participation (PDF)

Heart Safety in the Heat (PDF) * Español (PDF)

Making Safety Personal (DOCX)

Convierta la SEGURIDAD en algo PERSONAL

Making Safety Personal - Spanish (PDF)

Better Safety Conversations (PDF)

Webinar: Employee Perception Surveys

Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs (PDF)

Micro-Learning: Conducting Self-Inspections in the Workplace


AIHA - Protecting Worker Health
VPP - Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association - The Premier Global Safety and Health Organization
ASSP - American Society of Safety Professionals
National Safety Council
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health