Safety Culture – 10 Ways to Have It

We share this important information with you, as all organizations need to focus on having a Safety Culture. Insights such as these are provided to us by Amanda Shults, CMO of RISKSource Clark-Theders Insurance Agency on a regular occasion and for that we are grateful.

10 Steps to Creating a Positive Safety Culture

When employers create a positive safety culture workplace safety and health improve, as do employee morale and workplace productivity.  Here are 10 steps employers can take to encourage a positive safety culture:

  1. Take the long view.  Rather than regard safety as a compliance requirement, present it
    Safety Culture

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    as a continuous process of improvement.

  2. Look for root causes. Safety activities should be part of your overall operation.  Don’t just announce safety as a new priority that appears to workers as yet another flavor-of-the-month initiative.
  3. Integrate safety.  Safety activities should be part of your overall operation.  Don’t just announce safety as a new priority that appears to workers as yet another flavor-of-the-month initiative.
  4. Accentuate the positive.  Encourage workers to improve safety performance.  Watch for improvements and recognize them.
  5. Build from the bottom up.  Get employees involved in the safety decision-making process instead of dictating new policies and priorities from the top down.
  6. Forget the blame game.  When near misses or accidents occur, look at why the safety management system failed rather than look to place blame.  Don’t just look at what went wrong-get into the habit of identifying the hazard and finding a way to control it.
  7. Ask the right questions.  Look at accident investigations as action planning, not fault-finding missions.  Instead of focusing on the past and on things that can’t be changed, focus on ways to improve safety performance going forward.
  8. Use your communication skills.  When instituting a new control, explain to affected workers why they are being asked to change what they normally do and what success will look like.
  9. Identify and manage cost drivers.  Workplace injuries and illnesses involve a substantial amount of “hidden” costs, such as lost workdays, worker’s compensation, and replacing a worker.  Identify these costs and measure them over time.  If you can measure them, you can more easily manage them.
  10. Don’t accept failure.  Accepting that “accidents happen” is a sign of a faltering safety culture – one where employers and workers are not in control of their fate.  In companies with a strong safety culture, employers and employees work together to identify and control hazards before anyone is seriously hurt.  That is the kind of environment that can properly be called a “positive safety culture.”

Aligning your business with great partners is critical and we have done so with Clark-Theders Insurance Agency.  If any of the key points and elements above resonate with you or if you are wondering how well you are doing either creating or maintaining a Safety Culture, we recommend you experience their RiskSOURCE™ Process, the diagnostic assessment process developed to empower your organization to identify, measure and prioritize their exposures to loss.  Recognizing that losses vary from minor accidents to major catastrophes, RiskSOURCE™ identifies your exposures to loss, uncovers the types of risks to which you are vulnerable, and determines how well positioned you are to control a loss should one occur.  Contact them today!

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