What is Safety Culture?
Recently, the term “workplace culture” has become very trendy. More than just a buzzword, workplace culture refers to the way things are done at your workplace. Rather than referring to your company’s specific safety policy and program, safety culture encapsulates the mindsets, attitudes, and behaviours of workers, supervisors, managers, and owners toward safety in the workplace. A positive safety culture is a vital part of a successful and effective health and safety program.
You may find the idea of building or changing your safety culture daunting because the “way it is” at your workplace has fallen into a pattern of complacency. The effects of complacency can be catastrophic: accidents, injuries, illnesses, even loss of life could result. Don’t allow this to happen in your workplace.
Use OSG’s six tips to begin establishing and maintaining a strong and positive safety culture in your workplace
A great way to increase safety communication while building a positive culture is to hold weekly or monthly safety talks. Increase worker buy-in by having them lead the talks. These can even be done remotely. Make safety policies readily available, electronically and on paper, that communicate your organization’s best practices and expectations.
2. Provide Training
Training employees demonstrates your commitment to safety. Trained employees also embrace safety culture more readily because they are aware of hazards and the effect that they can have on maintaining workplace safety. Review key messages from training sessions often to reinforce learning.
3. Lead by Example
Lead by example by following all safety policies and encouraging employees to do the same. If management commits to safety, employees will follow suit. Employee buy-in is crucial to a positive safety culture. Workers won’t buy-in to safety if they don’t see policies and procedures being followed by their superiors. Safety is more than talking the talk—it is walking the walk.
4. Develop and Implement a Positive Reporting Process
Reward employees who report safety hazards or concerns. A positive safety culture will be much easier to build and maintain when employees feel comfortable reporting concerns and believe that the reporting process is positive.
5. Involve Workers
Building and maintaining a strong safety culture starts from the ground up. Another way to achieve employee buy-in is to involve them in the process. Ask them what they would like the reporting process to look like, or get their feedback on current communication methods.
6. Put your JHSC into Action
Having a trained and active JHSC is a great way to show safety culture in action. It demonstrates a commitment between workers and managers to safe work and maintaining a positive safety culture.
Do You Need Help Getting Started?
An active JHSC is one of the best methods of instilling positive safety culture at work. All of our JHSC courses are available through distance learning. You can check out our calendar for upcoming sessions or contact us for more information.
Written by Jenn Miller | Content Coordinator