An organization’s safety culture is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior. These simultaneously determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organization’s health and safety management.
In simpler terms, safety culture can primarily be referred to as how things are done in relation to risk in your workplace.
Is It Difficult to Change the Safety Culture of an Organization?
It’s not a simple task; however; safety culture stands as a pillar in your overall health and safety program and is crucial for the success of all health and safety-related achievements. To improve your safety culture, steps must be put in place to alter the attitudes, behaviors, and norms of the organization’s employees.
We wrote down five steps to help you change the safety culture within your organization.
1. Commitment and Communication
Both are important aspects of a successful and positive workplace safety culture. First, commitment is an essential element that requires an organization’s top management to be committed to safe operations. Approach this with facts and statistics. Present top management with tangible benefits of which they can see the return on their investment, such as employee well-being, reduced absenteeism, better reporting, and a clearer picture of current problems.
Communication at all levels will facilitate the transition to a safer work culture. An excellent way to improve safety communication is to hold regular talks about your industry’s current and relevant safety news.
2. Lead By Example
Leading by example is paramount; if top management follows safety policies, it will encourage your employees to do the same. If management is willing to commit to safety, employees will follow suit. Employee engagement is crucial to a positive safety culture.
Organizations with a strong safety culture understand that emergencies and incidents can occur at any time and have robust systems to deal with them immediately. Most importantly, they lead by example by learning from these incidents and ensuring that it never happens again.
3. Develop and Implement a Positive Reporting Process
Developing a positive association with reporting health and safety issues is essential to improving your organization’s safety culture. One way to promote this is to develop a rating system that rewards employees who report safety hazards (such as physical, chemical, or psychological hazards) or areas of concern. Positive safety culture is much easier to build and maintain when employees feel comfortable reporting problems and believe the reporting process is positive.
4. Provide Training
Investing in your employees’ safety training demonstrates your commitment to safety. An effective safety culture requires strong health and safety competencies. This should begin immediately when the employee is hired and inducted, and again during refresher training and skills updates. Trained workers also embrace the safety culture more readily because they are aware of the hazards and their effect on maintaining workplace safety.
5. Involve Employees
Building and maintaining a safety culture starts from the ground up. Also, another way to build strong employee engagement is to involve them in the process. Establishing a safety committee with employees from all levels of your organization can ensure that different opinions and issues are addressed.
What Now? Check Your Current QHSE Level
Are you curious about how your company scores in safety? Then you can do a QHSE check-up. You will receive a personalized report by e-mail. There you can see exactly what is going well per phase and what could be improved.
Scoring is based on the following:
- QHSE culture & organization
- Data management & fact-based decisions
- Issues & document management
- Audits & CAPA management
Do the QHSE Check-up here!