Safety Culture at Workplace – How to Improve?

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What is Safety culture? And How to Improve it?

It is the Individual and groups of workers acting and attitude in an organization, that reflects the commitment to the safety rules and vision of the organization, and working with the main safety rule “Safety First”.

A worker with safety culture acts according to safety rules with no need to be watched or pushing by his supervisor.

You should have this culture in your work as well as your daily life. Keeping you self, kids, home and car safe, and preventing accidents from happening is the simple meaning of this culture.

I always act like a safety engineer in my home, all the time I tell my family member about safety tips and rules for safer home.

I got this culture during my childhood, when I knew about a horrible accident, A young kid killed his sister who was young too, He did so accidentally of course.

He was carrying a knife to his mom while he was running his sister was on his way and the knife killed her.

I realized that its important to have a fast thinking and a wide imagination about possible hazards i.e you must have a safety culture all the time.

Importance of Safety Culture at Workplace

  • Understanding the influences of the safety culture of your organization plays a great role for the working system of an organization.
  • It helps a lot in changing the employee attitudes and behaviors.
  • Employee show good attitude in relation to safety and workplace health.
  • Safety culture should be started from the top seat holders of workplace such as CEO and senior managers.

Attitudes matters too much in forming a good safety culture of any organization. If the CEO and managers of any organization have good attitudes with their workers then workers will also impressed and implement the same attitudes with each other.

Who Needs Safety Culture?

We all need this culture, no exceptions.

Safety Culture Examples

Example 1: When you are working in a construction site and you find a power cable with damaged insulation, What is the first thing you will think about? If you will think about how to report this risky situation to your supervisor to keep the lace safer, Then you have a good safety culture.

Example 2: When you drive your car with in the speed limits and use light signs to inform other road users when you are about to change the lane, this is a good culture.

Example 3: A teacher in a school remove a piece of broken glass from the way of the kids, is  a good safety culture teacher.

How to Develop the Safety Culture

How to improve safety culture

The companies that want to develop positive safety culture should hire and promote managers with right knowledge. Their managers should have right skills and attitudes about safety which promote the safety culture.

Essential Culture Actions

 It is identified by a worldwide safety framework that there are nine most essential culture actions or safety behaviors which are most important to develop a positive culture. Let’s have a look on these behaviors.

  • Demonstrate leadership
  • Communicate company values
  • Develop the positive attitudes
  • Personalize safety outcomes
  • Clarify required behavior
  • Engage safety responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Increase hazard awareness and preventive behaviors
  • Review and reflect on personal effectiveness
  • Improve understanding about safety management

These nine culture actions can easily be implemented without any cost on any small or big organization. They only require is some efforts and understandings to be implemented. Let’s have a small introduction about these culture actions.

Communicate Company Value: Company values are much important for the safety culture. The main aim of any safety values approach is “safety first”, that’s why safety should become the part of your everyday or routine actions. Never take it as an extra work because it is important and its role can’t be denied.

 Demonstrate Leadership: You should motivate others by your act. Other workers should be inspired to work hard to achieve a particular goal. You should give importance the outcome of hard work and safety culture so that others will inspired with these acts and also tend to do so.

 Clarify Required Behavior: Clarify the employees about the specific behaviors for work and safety required from them. If they now clearly what is expecting from them they will act to give the same output.

You can communicate with help of emails, memos, toolbox talks, informal conversations or with the help of other communication process to clarify the tasks and behavior to them. Clarification solves a large number of issues of related to the safety culture.

Personalize the Safety Outcomes: Make the work health and safety more clear and emotional for the workers. This can be achieved by the managers who can personalize the injury or death of any worker. Manages should make the workers to know their role in preventing and eliminating the risks.

 Develop Positive Safety Attitudes: In order to increase the safety culture and good behavior, good beliefs and attitudes should be developed. Managers should develop the positive and encouraging behavior.

It will make such type of environment in the organization where everyone will become able to challenge unsafe behavior of the others safely. It also increases the patience in the worker and makes them able to deal with the unsafe situations.

 Engage safety responsibilities and accountabilities: Make all the workers and members of organization feel that they have great role in the safety management process. 

At the safe workplace people will:

  1. understand what they need to do at what time.
  2. They know the reason of their work. They will think about the work before they do it.
  3. They will look forward for the risks and hazards and will take necessary steps to manage the risks or hazards.
  4. They will responsibly take care of the others health and safety also.

Increase hazard awareness and preventive behaviors: Make the individuals aware of the fact that work health and safety outcomes are seriously associated with their decisions behavior and actions.

Meaningful two-way communication is the play an important role in increasing the hazard risk awareness.

The ability of the managers to clearly and concisely about the awareness of risks and hazards is vital in increasing the awareness of risks and helps a lot in protecting the safety culture. Effective communication of managers results in effective awareness about hazards.

Improve Understanding About Safety Management: Enable and motivate individuals to increase their knowledge and awareness about the specific hazard managing ways. In addition to this they should also increase their ability to implement these specific ways. 

Increased knowledge helps in a lot of things. When the individuals increase their knowledge, they play a great role in the development of the safety culture of an organization. They have the ability

  • To identify unsafe behaviors and unsafe work
  • To do the tasks in a better way
  • To solve the problems to get safer behavior and safer work

Review and reflect on personal effectiveness: Use all sources of information which may be possible frequently to gain feedback of culture actions and other safety behavior. This culture action will help you to continually improve your ability of safety leadership.

You can improve the other eight safety culture actions by taking feedback from the various sources of information. You can also say that the last culture habit is for improving and checking the effectiveness of other eight safety cultures.