Safety Culture..What is it and how do we get one?

Safety Culture..What is it and how do we get one?

The way we do things around here

I find that the best way to describe Safety Culture is “the way we do things around here”. It is the collective attitude and approach to health and safety in a workplace.

The patterns of behaviour that are promoted through safety culture determine the levels of commitment that your company has to managing injury risk.

So where do you start…

  • STEP ONE: Identify where you are on your journey. This requires you to perform a risk-based assessment of the business and its risks today looking at the people, leadership and systems.
  • STEP TWO: Identify where you want to get to – the future state.   What does it look like.
  • STEP THREE: Identify the leadership and behavioral gaps between today and the future.  What changes in behaviour patterns are required to instill the values and attitudes desired by the organisation? What Competencies are required or missing?  Do Supervisors have the skills to lead and communicate?  Are they able to recognise the hazards in the workplace?  Do Supervisors and Managers lead by example or do they turn a blind eye?
  • STEP FOUR: Identify a path for engaging the workforce.  How will the company communicate its values and safety culture.  How will it ensure that all staff understand their responsibility and want to be part of it.
  • STEP FIVE: Implement a tool for objective reporting.  How will we know when things are changing and how can we support the change, motivate and provide feedback.
  • STEP SIX: Make sure all levels of the organisation are involved and talking the same language