Creating a Strong Safety Culture
Safety culture is the collection of beliefs and values that employees share in relation to the risks present within the workplace. A strong safety culture is promoted by management and empowers individuals to take ownership of their well-being and have important conversations related to hazards shared across the workplace. Workplace disasters are commonly tied to inadequate attention being placed on an organization’s safety policies and procedures.
The development of a safety culture is a journey that must be managed over time. The following is a list of tasks and questions to help you get started.
- Create Safety Hazard Awareness
- What are the potential hazards (equipment, falls from elevation, chemical exposure, etc.)?
- What is the likelihood of the potential hazard occurring?
- What level of severity would this risk bring to the worker being exposed?
- What control measures are currently in place?
- Implement Changes to Eliminate/Reduce the Risk
- What are the best options to minimize specific risks? It may not always be possible to remove the risk but using a combination of controls can mitigate potential exposure.
- Put engineering controls in place. For example, to reduce/eliminate welding fumes, install an exhaust system.
- Supply personal protective equipment (PPE) that is appropriate to help protect workers from exposure that occurs from worksite applications.
- Make Safety a Habit
- Document and share how the organization will identify and control risks.
- Create a comprehensive training program that establishes safety rules and regulations.
- Make sure that everyone in the organization understands their role in creating a safe culture. This includes the importance of safety related to their job, how to make safety observations and how to report incidents.
- Hold regular safety meetings to review safety policies and procedures.
- Create Top-Down Engagement
- Get people engaged at the highest levels of your organization, from executives to managers and supervisors to set the tone for others on safety issues.
- Employees are more likely to report hazards and injuries when they know that they will not be retaliated against for taking reasonable steps to keep themselves and others safe.
- Incentivize and reward those who promote safety within the organization.
- Base rewards on tangible results, such as reduced injuries or illnesses.
The team of expert consultants at the IFO Group strongly believe that the key to incident prevention is the establishment of a top-down safety precedence. An organization’s leadership team needs to set the tone that safety is first and implement a system of positive reinforcement to elevate safety awareness.
Contact the IFO Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +1-832-403-2135 to discuss how we can help you create a strong safety culture within your workplace.