06th Nov, 2020 Read time 3 minutes

Why safety culture requires action, not just words

This article provided by Cority looks at why safety culture requires practical changes instead of excessive rhetoric.


 

Lower injury rates, higher ROI, increased ability to retain staff and attract new hires – sounds like an ideal scenario for any health and safety professional right? But how exactly does one get there? By developing and continuously supporting a strong safety culture.

With an estimated 80% of workplace accidents resulting from unsafe acts, not unsafe conditions, the ability to create and foster a strong safety culture will safeguard your employees, revenues, and reputation. It’s not only good for your business, but also the longevity of your leadership, employee engagement, and corporate lifespan. So, what exactly does safety culture entail?

Safety Culture Unveiled

Safety culture isn’t just a term, but rather daily actions that drive a larger organizational impact. Businesses need to ensure that their words are matched with tangible actions to ensure safety culture is not simply an interesting buzzword or unintentional consequence, but rather becomes a guiding philosophy across the entire organization. Safety culture isn’t just important; it’s essentially the foundation of the building that is your organization.

Understanding and communicating the importance of safety culture is a good first step toward protecting people sustainably. It can be challenging knowing where to focus your attention to get the maximum impact. The truth is there’s no ‘one size fits all’ model to develop a strong safety culture. However, it’s been observed that most organizations that achieve safety culture excellence do so by resolving 3 fundamental issues:

 

1. Knowing how to show leadership’s commitment to safety to the workforce

 

2. Knowing how to increase employee participation and engagement in safety

 

3. Knowing the right things to measure to accurately assess progress toward safety excellence

 

Implementing these foundations throughout your organization will help you get one step closer to creating a safety culture that lasts.

Fundamental Leadership Support

Addressing these fundamental issues wouldn’t be possible without strong leadership and commitment that spreads throughout the organization – from front-line workers all the way to the C-level boardroom. Leadership that stems from a place of genuine interest and engagement is important in ensuring the continued well-being of workers and seeing the short and long-term benefits of a safety culture. Leadership can achieve this by:

 

  • Speaking passionately about the importance of safety, while demonstrating a strong understanding of current risks, issues, and driving actions required to solve them

 

  • Recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviors that support safety culture excellence while celebrating success along the way
    Technology’s Impact

 

Organizations are beginning to realize the benefits that technology can provide when developing strong, sustainable safety cultures, including how it can support a felt leadership approach. Digitizing your processes with EHS Software can help you engage with your employee’s safety activities, improve data quality and accuracy, and measure and continuously improve your performance. At the end of the day, safety culture is important in every organization, but only those who truly put the work in and engrain it within their everyday actions, see its true impact.

Take your Safety Culture to the Next Level

For more, check out Cority’s latest eBook, Improving Safety Culture: Where to Focus Your Attention for Maximum Impact, to discover how you can significantly increase employee engagement, measure success, establish an ever-growing safety culture that your organization can be proud of.

HSE Network
Article by: HSE Network

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