How to Build a Strong Safety Culture

17 Oct

Here are 10 steps you and your management can take to build a strong safety culture, thereby improving safety performance and preventing accidents:

1. Define safety responsibilities for all levels of the organization (e.g., safety is a line management function).
2. Develop upstream measures (e.g., number of reports of hazards/suggestions, number of committee projects/successes, etc.).
3. Align management and supervisors through establishing a shared vision of safety and health goals and objectives vs. production.
4. Implement a process that holds managers and supervisors accountable for visibly being involved, setting the proper example, and leading a positive change for safety and health.
5. Evaluate and rebuild any incentives and disciplinary systems for safety and health as necessary.

6. Ensure the safety committee is functioning appropriately (e.g., membership, responsibilities/functions, authority, meeting management skills, etc.).
7. Provide multiple paths for employees to bring suggestions, concerns, or problems forward. One mechanism should use the chain of command and ensure no repercussions. Hold supervisors and middle managers accountable for being responsive.
8. Develop a system that tracks and ensures the timeliness in hazard correction. Many sites have been successful in building this in with an already existing work order system.
9. Ensure reporting of injuries, first aids, and near misses. Educate employees on the accident pyramid and importance of reporting minor incidents. Prepare management for initial increase in incidents and rise in rates. This will occur if under-reporting exists in the organization. It will level off, then decline as the system changes take hold.
10. Evaluate and rebuild the incident investigation system as necessary to ensure that it is timely, complete, and effective. It should get to the root causes and avoid blaming workers.
Companies with strong safety cultures typically experiences few at-risk behaviors, consequently they also experience low accident rates, low turnover, low absenteeism, and high productivity. They are usually companies who are extremely successful and excel in all aspects of their business.

One Response to “How to Build a Strong Safety Culture”

  1. bleacherreport.com February 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

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