5 Steps to Building a Safety Culture

Creating a culture within companies is growing in importance to all industries. Safety culture is no different.


Merriam-Webster defines culture as, “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.”  

When it comes to creating a successful safety culture, confirming that each of these components just stated are present is extremely important.

 

Here are the top 5 tips on how to get each of these components into your company and create a successful safety culture:

1.       Build Trust

2.       Provide Training

3.       Provide Communication Channels

4.       Lead by Example

5.       Celebrate Successes

 

Now let’s break each step down individually.

 

1.    Build Trust

Step one to developing any relationship is to build trust between the parties. Employees should feel that they can go to their supervisor if an incident occurs or if they see something that may be a safety hazard. Encouraging them to inform a supervisor in either of these cases is a vital part of having a successful safety culture. For instance, if the employees do not feel comfortable reporting a near miss, this mishap may be repeated in the future and turn into a more serious occurrence later on.

 

2.    Provide Training

"...world-class teams are dedicated to continuous learning."

Training provides employees with safety tools and resources. These resources are just as important as any of the other tools used to complete a job. They enable employees to correctly identify a potential safety hazard and know what the next step in preventing further danger is. When training is lacking from a company, it is more likely problems will arise. Remember, world-class teams are dedicated to continuous learning.

 

3.    Provide Communication Channels

It is important that employees know how to report a safety issue and that it will be addressed appropriately. Make sure the channels of communication for reporting a problem is completely clear to employees; they should know exactly who they are to inform about a concern. After the concern is expressed, the employee should feel confident that it will be handled in a positive and complete manner, making sure to investigate the entire issue.

Making the workplace an open area for sharing ideas about safety should also be practiced.

 

4.    Lead by Example

“The elements of culture tend to have a trickle-down effect.”

Culture is something that engulfs the totality of a company and, therefore, is a commitment that should be taken on by the entire team. The elements of culture tend to have a trickle-down effect. This means that employees will gauge their goals and how they handle situations at work on how their supervisors do. If an employee’s supervisor fails to correct a reported hazard, it is likely that the employee will not be concerned with reporting hazards anymore because no action is taken to resolve the issue. Creating a true and complete safety culture means going beyond the programs and policies with meaningful actions.

 

5.    Celebrate Successes

Keeping safety at the forefront of goals set for a company is extremely important. As previously stated, it takes an entire company to successfully attain these goals. Therefore, when these objectives are reached, it is important to celebrate the company and all of the employees within it. Acknowledging what the company has done and setting higher sites for the future can help to ensure that the company will continue succeeding and gaining triumphs that previously seemed difficult to obtain.

 


These 5 steps are simple, but necessary to gaining a complete and true safety culture within a company. Following them will ensure all of the correct elements are in place for letting a company go beyond their goals and keeping their employees safe.

 

What techniques are you using to create a safety culture within your company? Comment below!