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Creating a Positive Safety Culture
Creating a Positive Safety Culture in your Workplace
Safety is one of the biggest priorities in an organization, and unfortunately, can also be one of the most overlooked. No one wants to get injured at work but it is not uncommon for complacency and repetition to cause issues. To address the risks in any place of work, it is crucial to implement a consistent safety program throughout the organization.
However, it is not enough for management and employees to just simply become aware of safety and risks when at work. Safety needs to become a culture and an in-depth understanding to experience its true benefits. Benefits that can be anywhere from reducing insurance costs to even improving productivity.
What is a Safety Culture?
Culture is a way of life, a philosophy embodied in how the people live and act towards themselves and to their environment. A safety culture is a work environment where people in the organization choose to incorporate means and understanding of safety in how they treat themselves, their treatment of other people and their way of work.
Safety Culture does not only exists as a law or a policy implemented in an organization. Mere tools and policies of safety do not completely compromise an effective safety culture. It needs to involve a commitment, proper understanding, change of behavior and manner of decision making.
For instance, safety laws call for the use of personal protective equipment when in a hazardous place. Once a safety culture is established, employees will remind each other of the need to use PPE and will consider the safety of others when inside hazardous locations.
Tips on how to create a safety culture
- It starts with the top management. Upper management puts safety culture into practice and a good example for lower employees to follow when it comes to safety.
- Establish workplace safety as a top priority in plans and decision-making. Matters to be discussed must consider the level of safety to the workers and the means to mitigate safety risks when implemented.
- Continuous friendly reminder must be set place. Senior management can create visual means to remind employees of the benefits of safety with updated information and marketing trends.
- Conduct training regularly. Team building efforts and safety training nurture emotional and mental learning in the matters of looking out and working as a team.
- Emergency responses are well documented and followed. Responses to accidents and workplace issues reflect the seriousness and capacities of an organization in maintaining safety within the workplace. It impacts and influences trust of an employee when it comes to safety. Documentation is needed to record any issues in the company. Fast and consistent procedures must take place to show that safety is a top priority.
- Set accountability among teams. In every organization, there are different areas and teams established. Remind leaders and their staff of their individual accountability to themselves and to their team especially in matters of safety and risk.
- Celebrate success. Creating a safe work environment is a success in the organization. Celebrating it sends a message to your employees that safety is a serious matter in the company. It will encourage them to participate in the process.
Safety culture is not a one-time or overnight process. It takes a lot of practice and a change of habit in order for the organization to gradually integrate it into their work lifestyle. Cooperation by the workforce and support from the top management is crucial to establishing a positive and impactful safety culture in the organization.