Safety culture is more than workplace safety rules, safety equipment, and procedures. It has to do with organization-wide approach and attitude regarding workplace safety. If your company shares a strong safety culture from the CEO down to the production floor, it will positively affect everything regarding the success of your company.
How to Improve Safety Culture in the Workplace
Almost every company has a safety culture. The difference between them is how much the culture actually values safety. When the culture is poor or weak, it will sound as though employee safety is not a priority; therefore, it typically focuses more on cost cutting, speed, production, or anything else other than safety
Understand Your Safety Status
It is important you understand your safety status by tracking your data. You can’t make changes to your culture unless you have a clear picture of your current safety factors. Look at the number of days you have gone without an accident and what the reasons are behind the results. While the initial number might surprise and please you, look further into why the numbers are good. It could be several factors: a slowdown in your production, lower employment levels with fewer to file a claim, or supervisors who are not reporting accidents to maintain an accident-free status. Good safety status data may not always be an accurate read of what your workplace safety culture is currently.
How to Improve Your Safety Culture
To have an effective safety culture, you have to open lines of communication with all workers in all positions. All workers have to be encouraged to come forward with suggestions they have to improve safety in their position. They need a reliable contact person and the promise there will no repercussions for making suggestions. Everyone needs to trust that their managers will listen and react properly to any safety suggestion so that everyone benefits.
Show Concern for Employees
When you have a good safety culture in your workplace, your concern for your employees will be obvious and observed. Instead of having anonymous observations, you and your management need to walk around and monitor first-hand workplace practices. Positively reinforce your company’s values and comment on both the good and bad incidents you run across. When your safety culture is working, you will learn from all areas and use the information to improve and promote safety at all levels.
Appoint a Leader at Each Level
Appoint one person who will lead the safety practices at each level of your management. Choose someone who is completely familiar with the work process in the area and knows the importance of a proper safety culture. It should be someone who knows the current hazards of positions in the area, where improvements can be made, and who can train employees to use proper safety measures.
Safety Culture is an Ongoing Process
Creating an effective safety culture will be an on-going process and will take a large commitment from everyone in your workplace. It will be well worth the end results when you have created a positive attitude toward safety and reduced your workplace accidents. Learning about and then sharing safety concerns and updates with all employees will lead to safer working conditions. When you open the lines of communication to employees, you’ll find their communication with you opens, and you will learn more about the operation of your business.
A safety culture is not just policies and programs. Safety does not exist in a vacuum. Your safety culture must be part of your overall corporate culture and understood and accepted by everyone.
Berkley Industrial Comp is pleased to share this material with its customers. Please note, however, that nothing in this document should be construed as legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for general informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.