What Makes Up Culture of Safety in the Workplace
Safety culture is a way of life in which an organisation assigns prime importance to workplace health and safety. It is comprised of a multitude of factors that include employees’ shared beliefs and attitudes with regards to work-related safety practices, as well as organisational structures and policies meant to encourage participation in company-wide WHS efforts. All these need to be accounted for when establishing a culture of safety. That may sound like a lot of work, but with proper assessment, training, and coordination, it wouldn’t be such an impossible job.
Let’s look at these influences in detail and determine what you can do to achieve a safety culture.
Managers and supervisors are your tickets to safety culture. Because they work closely with many employees, they hold influence over employees’ behaviors and decisions. This means that they can also encourage high regard to and compliance with health and safety measures, among other important company initiatives.
By safety leadership, we mean influencing others’ actions utilising showing them how safety should be observed. Leaders must demonstrate safe work practices themselves to motivate their team members to follow suit. They must also show up to their tasks and avoid complacency to cement the idea that workers’ health and welfare are not something to be taken lightly.
Clear goals, roles, and responsibilities
For workers to deeply understand the impact of their participation in the organisation’s WHS efforts, they need a clear knowledge of what safety outcomes are expected from their jobs. Whether or not they are in high-risk environments, employees must note that even the small things count such as wearing protective equipment, reporting potential health risks, inspecting the reliability of work stations, and even proactively reminding colleagues to observe proper health and safety practices.
Goals, roles, and responsibilities can be communicated in a variety of ways, including email, formal notices, memos, and casual stand-up talks. If you can make these conversations a regular thing, much better. Constant reinforcement is key.
Unified employee values, beliefs, and attitudes towards safety
Safety culture is also defined by how workers collectively feel about the organisation’s health and safety programs and how much they’re willing to assume responsibility for incidents relating to WHS without being told to do so. With these values and attitudes, workers would be able to recognise that their efforts to comply with WHS regulations are merely for their benefit but also the welfare of their colleagues.
To encourage these values, you can try appealing to their motivations like what pushes them to come to work and why they must go home to their families unharmed every day. Have them understand that obtaining injury while at work is an issue of physical, mental, and financial health combined, so it’s better to act with caution than deal with ugly consequences.
There is more to safety culture than what we managed to fit in a single article, so feel free to ask experts in the field of Work Health and Safety for more information on safety culture. Call us on 07 5499 2406.