In recent years, many companies have started to realize the importance of building a strong safety culture within their workplace.
The term “safety culture” can be defined as a company’s values, attitudes and beliefs about safety. It takes into account the mindsets and behaviors that all employees have towards safety – including managers, workers, and other key stakeholders.
Safety management does not fall onto one person’s shoulders; there has to be a deep concern for the well-being of all employees from the top down. It’s everyone’s responsibility, from the CEO to the entry-level employee. We all must make safety a priority.
In order to be effective, a positive culture of safety has to be embedded into all aspects of doing business — including management systems and operational processes.
A strong safety culture is a critical aspect to any successful health and safety program.
Characteristics of a Strong Safety Culture
Before you can start to build a stronger safety culture for your workplace, it may be helpful to first understand some of the characteristics of an effective safety environment. Organizations who possess a strong culture of safety often experience:
- Fewer accidents and injury rates
- Less turnover
- High levels of employee engagement
- Increased productivity
Additionally, where a positive safety culture exists, company leaders tend to truly value employee safety. They aren’t afraid to invest in safety procedures, programs, and equipment. Managers and supervisors are committed to enhancing workplace safety.
Similarly, the employees feel a sense of pride and ownership over their own safety. They feel empowered to speak up and take action.
How to Get Employees Involved in Safety
A big part of safety culture is the attitudes and beliefs that employees have about safety. Therefore, it’s important to get workers to “buy-in” to the concept of safety. One way to do this is to get them directly involved.
If you want to enhance or improve the safety attitudes at your workplace, you need to get workers more involved with your health and safety programs.
How can you do this? Include all levels of workers in the planning and implementation phases of new safety initiatives. Ask for their feedback on current policies and procedures. Keep coming back to them for input. They will appreciate being involved in the decision-making process.
This commitment results in a positive safety attitude, which helps foster a strong culture of safety.
Key Components of Your Health and Safety Program
Even though safety attitudes have a lot to do with your safety culture, so do the individual components of your health and safety program. Remember, a positive culture of safety has to be embedded deep into all aspects of doing business.
Here are several aspects of a health and safety program that can help you build a strong safety culture:
- Safety Training
Effective and ongoing training is a critical component to any health and safety program. It should be a top priority for all businesses. An effective training program can reduce the number of accidents and work-related injuries.
Trained employees will embrace safety culture much more quickly because they are aware of the hazards and the effect that they can have on maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.
Additionally, investing in high quality training shows your employees that you truly care about their safety. This goes a long way to increasing worker buy-in and support.
- Safety Audits
Audits are another key component of an EHS program that supports a positive culture of safety. Conducting safety audits demonstrates your ongoing commitment to safety.
This is another great opportunity to get employees involved in safety. Ask them to participate in a walkaround inspection to help identify hazards and outline opportunities for improvement.
When done correctly, you can gain valuable insights from safety audits. Not only can they help create a positive safety culture, but they can also help you reduce accidents and injuries and maintain compliance with health and safety regulations.
- Safety Meetings
A great way to increase safety culture within your workplace is to hold regular safety talks. You could even have your employees lead the talks. Safety meetings help improve productivity, reinforce safety principles, and help meet compliance requirements.
Be sure to develop a consistent schedule for your safety meetings. Most organizations will host “tailgate meetings” or “toolbox talks” on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Choose whichever option is best for you.
Need help coming up with safety meeting topic ideas? Check out our extensive library of safety meeting topics. Choose from over 1,000 topics to include in your toolbox talk schedule!
The concept of safety should be visible throughout your entire facility. Part of that means obvious compliance, attitudes, and behaviors among workers. Visibility also includes appropriate signage and hazard recognition.
You can (and should) also keep employees informed and your business in compliance with labor law posters that are readily accessible to all workers.
Being visible with safety is an easy and effective way to increase the safety culture at your workplace.
- Safety Manuals
It’s difficult to build a strong safety culture without having safety manuals and health and safety policies that are tailored to the hazards of your workplace.
Not only are these documents important for compliance, but they also help set the foundation for a strong culture of safety. They provide clarity and direction for how things are done in order to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
Employees should be invited to review these documents on a regular basis and provide feedback or make suggestions for improvement.
The Next Step in Building a Positive Culture of Safety at Your Workplace
Looking to improve the safety culture at your workplace? Contact Safety Services Company today to develop and implement a plan for enhancing workplace safety and compliance at your organization.
You want a trusted safety partner to help you achieve better safety outcomes. We take pride in supporting our clients with this effort by providing customized solutions that fit the unique needs of their business.
Check out our extensive lineup of products and services that can help you create a positive culture of safety within your organization. From weekly safety meetings and toolbox talks, to policies and procedure manuals… we can help you achieve your goals.