Creating a Culture of Safety: 7 Critical Steps
Companies should consider creating a more robust safety culture to boost company viability and reputation.
Creating a culture of safety on worksites is often an afterthought or even considered a hindrance to finishing projects, and many companies take shortcuts in an ill-advised attempt to save time and money.
However, the absence of one can expose employees and the organization to a myriad of potential dangers and hinder the overall productivity and efficiency of the workforce.
This article discusses seven steps companies can take to build a better culture of safety.
What is Safety Culture in the Workplace?
Creating a safety culture at a worksite is a comprehensive process that requires a solid commitment to safety among all employees and management. Steps in that process should include the following:
1. Prioritize Safety
While meeting deadlines is critical for companies’ profitability, management should prioritize the safety and well-being of workers over expediency. By encouraging on-site workers to perform effectively but responsibly, companies demonstrate their commitment to this goal.
2. Analyze the Threat Landscape
Companies must first understand the threat landscape before successfully creating a culture of safety. And to do this, they must consider every risk on the worksite, including but not limited to:
- Environmental Hazards
By addressing these aspects of the threat landscape, companies can build a comprehensive plan that protects their employees, assets, and reputation while fostering a positive and productive work environment.
3. Hold Everyone Accountable
All employees are responsible for upholding policies and standards in a safe workplace. This accountability means that while management supports safety standards and is aware of what makes a job site safe, workers take it upon themselves to enforce those standards and hold each other accountable.
4. Provide Training and Education
An effective means for stressing the value of workplace safety is through routine training. Management can work with an industry expert to tailor a program for the job. The curriculum might include any of the following:
- Orientation for new employees
- Refresher courses
- Specialized training for specific tasks
- Equipment training
Companies should ensure that these programs are available to all employees regularly.
5. Encourage Continuous Improvement
A stellar safety performance today does not guarantee the same success tomorrow, and companies should always aim for ongoing improvement. However, a company’s ability to better itself continuously depends on the willingness and ability to:
- Prepare for changing working conditions
- Adapt to organizational changes
- Identify and study near-misses
- Learn from real incidents
- Stress the safety culture daily
Companies should always remember that creating a strong safety culture is a continuous journey, not a one-time endeavor.
6. Encourage Feedback Without Repercussion
Management should encourage workers to report safety concerns, near misses, and accidents without fear of repercussions. Otherwise, employees may be less inclined to provide honest feedback – or even report violations – if they are unnecessarily penalized for minor infractions of safety regulations.
As such, companies might consider an anonymous reporting system. Use the information collected to identify trends and areas for improvement.
7. Recognize and Celebrate Safe Behavior
Maintaining enthusiasm and keeping workers inspired is vital to meeting safety goals, and companies might do this by praising individual workers or entire teams for positive efforts toward creating a strong safety culture.
Management might consider implementing a system to recognize this success, which might come in many forms, including the following:
- Public recognition during department or companywide meetings
- Certificates of achievement
- Extra paid time off
- Safety bonuses
- Other monetary incentives, such as gift cards or vouchers
However, management should remember that incentives should align with the company’s culture and budget and ensure that incentives are fair, consistent, and accessible to all employees.
Creating a Great Safety Culture Requires the Right Risk Management Technology
A safe worksite can help maintain the stability and reputation of the entire organization. And as such, businesses must understand the cruciality of promoting a safety-first culture to protect their most important resource: their employees.
By implementing the abovementioned steps into your safety process, your business will have laid the groundwork for effective risk management procedures, emergency preparation, and the necessary employee involvement in safety culture from the ground up.
However, successfully executing these steps and maximizing workplace safety requires the industry’s premier risk management software. Consider working with us to configure a solution to meet your organization’s safety needs, from company to worker level.
Contact us today to learn more.