Safety culture

Strengthening your safety culture

What your organization thinks and practices with respect to safety is important and essential to the overall culture. Businesses with strong safety culture tend to experience low levels of risky behavior and low accident rates, turnover and absenteeism, as well as high productivity. To strengthen your safety culture, you can:

Give ownership. Everyone should feel a sense of responsibility when it comes to safety. If one worker observes another worker performing unsafely he should report the behavior and not look the other way.

Develop metrics. You can keep track of your safety efforts by collecting and tracking hazard reports, safety suggestions and safety committee initiatives.

Create goals. Management, supervisor and other employees should agree on safety and health objectives.

Hold leaders accountable. If managers do not care, then workers may not either. Make leaders accountable for their involvement in safety programs.

Reward and correct. Give praise to safe employee actions or valuable contributions and discipline fairly and consistently when needed.

Effective safety committee. A good safety committee is a great way to strengthen your safety culture.

Solicit input. Workers should have various outlets for offering input, reporting issues and asking questions. Suggestions should be acted upon by management in a timely and appropriate way.

Correct problems. You can have a system in place to track and correct safety hazards. The system should be effective to ensure employee faith in the practice.

Identify near misses. Workers need to know how to identify and report near incidents. This results in long term prevention.

Investigate incidents. Identify root causes and avoid worker blame. Correct actions tactfully.

Highlights

  • Strong safety cultures tend to experience low levels of risky behavior, low accident rates, turnover and absenteeism as well as high productivity.
  • There are various ways to strengthen your safety culture:
    • give ownership
    • develop metrics
    • create goals
    • hold leaders accountable
    • reward and correct
    • develop a safety committee
    • seek input
    • correct hazards
    • identify near misses
    • investigate accidents
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