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Rebooting Your Safety Culture

Posted by Peter Hallez on February 22, 2017 at 9:37 AM

Building a “safety culture” in your organization can be challenging and, once successfully established, you might wonder how long will it remain in good working order? Some influences that can alter the safety mindset of your team are changes in management or even changes in your superiors. “TIME” is also a huge factor in the stabilization of your organization’s safety culture.  Safety improvements will only last so long until the unforeseen hazards reveal themselves.  Let’s face it; we live in an ever-changing world where organizations have to adapt in order to run concurrently with safety regulations.

Currently in my organization, the safety culture has become a little bit stagnate in some of my departments.  Due to this so-called “dry spell”, I plan to reboot it.  It is important to think about what factors will need to be considered when rebooting your safety culture. What do the employees in your organization believe about your mission and vision statement? What departments are the most challenging to get in front of? What resources are available to you and your organization to help spread the safety message? What support is needed to be successful? Lastly, what is the best way to communicate with your team?  All of these questions will need to be answered if you want to reboot your safety culture successfully.   

“Family” is a word I would use to describe an organization that has a successful working safety culture. Think about it; many people spend more time at work then they actually do at home with their real families. With that said, your organization should treat their employees like family and have an open and welcoming environment. Being excited to see your work family will boost the morale in your organization and happy employees miss less days of work, are more productive, and take more pride in their work.  This is definitely how I want my employees to feel when they come to work in my organization.

Communication is one of the strongest tools an organization can have. Keeping your employees abreast of loss trends, updated safety info, and trainings will help reduce the likelihood of them being injured. On top of that, creating an open two-way communication, with all employees, will only increase employee job satisfaction.  Knowing that an employee can have their opinion heard goes a long way in any environment.

Leadership buy-in will be one of the most crucial key components, as without it, any ideas will fade and disappear.  Leaders who believe in what they preach will be supported and will build the buy-in of their employees.  Having all employees on the same mindset about the importance of safety creates a successful safety culture. A successfully operating safety culture will then become the norm or, as the saying goes, “the way we do things around here”.

With all that said on rebooting your safety culture, I have identified the departments that I will be working with in my organization and have already achieved support from leadership.  I plan to create a 10-15 minute webcast that I can share with all employees in these departments.  I chose this communication style, as these groups are the hardest to get together for in person batch trainings.  I will share facts about each group’s loss trends along with a solution that reflects our organization’s mission and vision statement. I also encourage you to comment on challenges you’re facing or successes you are celebrating in your organization. Until next time…