A culture is a way of doing things that is shared, taught or copied and in simpler terms, safety culture can primarily be referred to as the way things are done in your workplace. It is important to realise that an organisation’s safety culture can have as big an influence on safety outcomes as the safety management system themselves.

Organisations with a positive safety culture are founded on mutual trust, by shared perceptions of the importance of safety and by confidence that procedures are being followed to the best of everyone’s ability. It’s more than simply following a rule book. Our latest article explores our top tips on improving health and safety culture within your organisation.

Training

Training is crucial, and not just during the initial introductory stages. Regular and sufficient safety training is essential for a positive safety culture in your company. Training employees is a great way to show your employees just how committed you are on ensuring their safety and training also fosters team participation between employees thus promoting a united workforce. The training should have a positive effect on the employees and encourage a higher level of safety awareness.

Communication

Make sure you are talking to your employees about safety and they know that you care about them. This can really only be accomplished with face to face interactions. The best and most effective way to engage with your employees is to talk with them. Effective communications ensure that all safety messages and notifications are known and visible to all employees. Moreover, the management should help the employees understand their roles and responsibility within the company. Using posters and email campaigns to communicate essential messages can be a great way to enforce this message and regular meetings with the workforce will give employees an opportunity to feedback on the safety strategies and give management insight into whether they are still useful

Active employee engagement

One tactic that works in improving safety culture is active employee engagement. Engaged employees are individuals that have a “Safety is everyone’s responsibility” approach to work issues and are fully invested in both their work and the company’s success. They will put in more effort across the board and show genuine care about the safety of others within their workplace and go out of their way to ensure things are done in the right way. They offer their opinions on safety matters and provide suggestions and feedback to their colleagues where needed.

Management commitment

Developing a positive safety culture should be a top-down initiative. If your management team doesn’t take safety culture seriously, you’ll run into a heap of problems, from the rest of your team not taking it seriously to ineffective policies being implemented because those at the top aren’t paying close enough attention. It’s important for those in higher positions such as management to lead by example so that the junior workers may look to them for motivation and the administration has to ensure that the company’s safety standards are strictly adhered to by the employees and themselves. A good manager puts into action the safety rules and regulations of the company rather than just talking about them.

To have a strong safety culture, it’s important to have an overall workplace culture that fosters positive relationships and outcomes.

For further information and tips on improving health and safety culture within your organisation or any other health and safety issue, please contact us here.