Health and Safety Culture in Your Organization depends on interlink between proactive management and performance of maintaining health and safety at the workplace. 

 

Workplace Culture

A culture is why we do, what we do and the way we do things around.

Each culture is unique and often is made up of subcultures of level, trade, tenure, and ethnicity.

Workplace culture is influenced by many things, including leadership, management, and supervision styles and priorities; peer pressure; workplace conditions; and design and production logistics.

Culture is an enigmatic element that results from a combination of both deliberate and non-deliberate consequence of cause and effect.

Enhancing Health & Safety Culture

Improving Health and Safety Culture in Your Organization:

Improving health and safety measures has a positive impression on health and safety culture, in turn composes a workplace culture that values health and safety.

Improving an organization’s health and safety culture and performance clearly indicating that the organization places a high priority on:

  • Preventing injuries
  • Minimizing risks
  • Solving occupational health and safety issues
  • Investing in control measures
  • Engaging entire workforce in health and safety
  • Being transparent and open about health and safety
  • Leading and striving for continual improvement in health and safety performance

Assessing Health and Safety Culture

There are two basic ways to assess health and safety culture:

  • Subjective Assessments :  workforce perception surveys (health and safety climate surveys)
  • Objective Assessments : surveys of leading health and safety processes and practices that help grow a good health and safety culture

Together the objective and subjective assessments can provide a road map for designing focused initiatives for health and safety culture and performance improvement.

 

The 4 Major Characteristics of Safety Cultures

 

  • Negative 
  • Reactive
  • Positive
  • Proactive

 

Safety Cultures

Evaluation of Current Health and Safety Culture in Your Organization

 

Negative: Negative and reactive safety systems are unable to prevent workplace safety incidents.

In a negative safety culture, workers often feel pressurized to bend or break safety rules or safe work procedures to meet deadlines or production goals. 

Reactive:  Following reactive safety culture, is most likely waiting for something bad to happen and then trying to act accordingly. This can be costly and time-consuming and extremely stressful in the event of an accident. 

 A negative safety culture paired with a reactive safety system ensures that sooner or later the system will fail. 

Positive: A positive safety culture indicates the quality and effectiveness of communication.  When communication throughout all levels of an organization is strong, open, and meaningful, a positive safety culture follows.

Proactive:  Positive safety cultures and proactive safety systems work hand-in-hand cause consequence of reactive safety systems.

More and more organizations are integrating impairment tests into their workplaces to proactively assess and manage safety risks due to fatigue, illness, emotional distress, substance abuse, and more. 

A bad safety culture brings your organization down and leads to more and more accidents.

 

7 Indicators Which Indicate that Health and Safety Culture in Your Organization is Dysfunctional:

Health and Safety Culture

 1. Safety doesn’t start at the top. 

Get your executive staff 100% on board and the rest of the company will follow. People imitate what they see. However, it will bring down your entire safety culture across the board. Make sure all your executives, as well as managers and supervisors are upholding your safety plan.

 

 2. Poor communication between departments or branches. 

Make sure you have a clear plan with concrete responsibilities for each department and members of your team. Uncertainty begets faults in your safety plan. Make sure you reassert plans regularly, and ensure that each department is aware of every part of the plan, with the end goal of the success of the entire safety system.

 

 3. Unaccomplished-reporting of accidents and incidents. 

 It has been seen that most of the workers kept from telling their supervisor about safety concerns. Empower your workers to fix or at least feel free to inform safety hazards before they happen. Your organization should accurately report all accidents, incidents, help to improve your safety plan and strengthen your culture of safety.

 

 4. Placing the blame. 

It is believed that responsibility for accidents belongs to those directly involved. Safety should be everyone’s job. When injuries occur, many times individuals are blamed.

 

Common reasons for not reporting an injury are:

  • The injury was minor
  • Accepting pain as part of the job
  • Not wanting to be labelled a “complainer”
  • Believing home treatment would be sufficient
  • Not being sure if the injury was work-related
  • Fearing the loss of future or current jobs
  • Not being able to afford time off without pay to see a doctor
  • Not wanting to lose out on the safety incentive for no lost work time.

 

  1. Cost-cutting and dictatorial focus on profitability. 

Sometimes, there is a culture that profitability is the only concern in an organization. Safety and health are seen as an added cost. Companies do not want to spend on the proper PPE and other equipment, overworking employees, and focusing particularly on the lowest cost. A focus on safety will actually save companies money in the long run. It is always a good idea to invest in your safety plan, both financially and culturally.

 

  1. Avoidance of follow-up or improvement after an incident. 

The reality is that accidents can occur anytime, even with proper training and protection. If an accident happens on your work site, you should evaluate your safety culture and slacken the accidents so they won’t happen again. This will ultimately improve your organization’s positive culture. On most occasions, companies simply record the accident and file it away without any investigation or follow-up. 

 

  1. Underestimating importance of employees. 

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business.

 Increased morale leads to increased efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Let your workers know that they have a voice. Give them confidence to communicate about safety hazards. Listen to their opinions and suggestions, and follow up on every hazard reported by them, however small it is.

 Not only will you build trust with your team, but you will make your company safer at the same time.

Work on all of these issues in your organization, by focusing on fixing these crucial issues, you will be able to build a great Health and Safety Culture in Your Organization. Update and Improve Health and Safety Culture in Your Organization

7 main characteristics of a positive safety culture: 

 

1. NOTHING TAKES PRECEDENT OVER SAFE WORK UNDER ANY CONDITIONS. 

The employee never feels as if safe work procedures are an obstacle to getting their job done properly and without delay. 

The keyword here is “feels”. Get your people to “feel” the same safety priorities that you do. 

If your employees are neglecting existing safety practices despite your focus on making safety a priority, you may need to evaluate how effective the communication is between your company’s management and its workforce because sometimes, the most innocent comment of urgency may influence employees.

If employees are under the impression, that safety rules might be broken to achieve the results that management wants, any existing safety system, no matter how great, cannot protect them. 

 

2. ALL PERSONNEL, FROM THE FRONT LINE TO THE SENIOR LEADERSHIP, SHARE THE SAME RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFE WORK.

For a safe workforce, accountability is the key. 

A positive safety culture shows compassion to positive change and does not blame each other. In an organisation with a negative safety culture, workers often feel that supervisors and company managers have a little concern for their well-being. 

“Of course, managers did care, but often they did not understand the importance of expressing it.” 

Management should lead by “Not just talk the talk but also walk the walk.”

 

3. THE SAFETY SYSTEM IS INFORMED BY THE WORKFORCE, NOT DESIGNED AND ENFORCED ONLY BY MANAGEMENT.

Workers will show disinterest in safe work procedures if they are unable to understand, use technical vocabulary or grumble, or in entirely different language. 

In a positive safety culture, safety systems and procedures represent the experiences of the workers through their own input. 

The poor communication and miscommunications with the workforce might lead to safety incidents.

 

4. EXISTING SAFETY SYSTEMS ARE CONSTANTLY DEVELOPED AND IMPROVED. 

Are you going to wait for the next accident to put your practices back into question?

The answer is No, of course. You can make changes to prevent accidents every day using following three tools

  1. Communication 
  2. Trust and accountability 
  3. Proactive practices 

A positive safety culture understands that incident-free work is the result of continuous vigilance to improvement and proactive practices. 

 

5. COMMUNICATION OCCURS OPENLY BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS, MEMBERS OF THE WORKFORCE, AND MANAGEMENT. 

More communication but it’s so important, in a proper way.

Examples of miscommunication:

  • when a manager’s meaning was not appropriately conveyed resulting in assumptions 
  •  when communication from management reflected double standards 

Make sure that communication is open and encouraged, having a better medium of communication.

 

6. MANAGEMENT/LEADERSHIP PLAYS AN ACTIVE ROLE TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE SAFETY OF THE WORKFORCE IS THE TOP PRIORITY.

Demonstrate. Not just say. 

How do you demonstrate that you prioritize safety? 

  1. Go to the worksite.
  2. Gain perceptible understanding of their work environment and what happens on the front line.
  3. Talk to your workers personally.
  4. Take interest in their safety concerns.
  5. Take their concerns seriously and act accordingly.
  6. Realize that your understanding about the hazards is noy more than the workers facing these hazards daily.  
  7. You need to be present: the lack of visible presence as lack of interest.
  8. You need to be responsive: responding to safety concerns and suggestions in a timely manner is very effective for building trust and reliability.

 

7. INCIDENTS, SAFETY ISSUES, OR SEASONING WORK FOR SAFETY CONCERNS ARE NOT MET WITH NEGATIVITY

 

 “Don’t hurt yourself or you’ll get in trouble.” When workers are afraid of getting in trouble, your safety culture can’t improve.  

Management should ease workers’ fears of being reprimanded or punished for incidents, and create a positive environment in which workers could come forward without fear, they could have understood the circumstances that led to the problem and learned how to avoid it in the future.

Create an environment where everyone is encouraged to be accountable and responsible. Build trust with your workers, so that they are not afraid to confide in you. Communicate openly about your shared responsibility to identify and manage risks. 

 

SUMMARY

To reinforce your plan to build a strong safety culture that will benefit your organization for years to come.

 

  • Define expectations clearly
  • Build from the top to down
  • Hold people accountable
  • Give employees the authority to stop work
  • Provide a communication channel for your employees
  • Report all accidents, incidents, and near-misses
  • Have a strong investigation system
  • Build trust with your team
  • Reward employees for safety recognition
  • Celebrate Success

 

Organizations with a positive safety culture are characterized by “communications based on mutual trust, shared perceptions of the value of safety and trust in the impact of preventive measures.”  This view has led to increasing recognition of the importance of considering safety culture and successful management of safety performance will definitely help you to enhance Health and Safety Culture In your Organization. 

 

For the top-level Safety training, more advice or any personalized information get in touch with us at info@keneducation.in

 

or visit us at www.keneducation.in  or call us at +917569034271

 

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