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A Culture of Safety

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Safety culture is the attitude, beliefs, perceptions and values that employees share in relation to safety in the workplace. But it’s not just important in construction or heavy industry. Experts say a positive safety culture can result in improved workplace health and safety and organizational performance. Plus, it’s just sound business.

How so?

According to research, a positive safety culture fosters willingness to go above and beyond minimum role requirements. Workers comply with standard procedures not because they have to, but because they want to — regardless of whether their supervisor is present. They seek to improve safety for not only themselves, but their team and organization more broadly, helping to reduce both accidents and incidents.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), here are a couple of tips that can help build a stronger safety culture in today’s workplace:

  1. Define safety responsibilities: Do this for each level within your organization. This should include policies, goals and plans for the safety culture.
  2. Share your safety vision: Everyone should be in the same boat when establishing goals and objectives for their safety culture.
  3. Enforce accountability: Create a process that holds everyone accountable for being visibly involved, especially managers and supervisors. They are the leaders for a positive change.
  4. Provide multiple options: Provide different options for employees to bring their concerns or issues full-face. There should be a chain of command to make sure supervisors are held accountable for being responsive.
  5. Report, report, report: Educate employees on the importance of reporting injuries, first aids and near misses. Prepare for an increase in incidents if currently there is under- reporting. It will level off eventually.
  6. Rebuild the investigation system: Evaluating the incident investigation system is critical to make sure investigations are conducted in an effective manner. This should help get to the root cause of accidents and incidents.
  7. Build trust: When things start to change in the workplace, it is important to keep the water calm. Building trust will help everyone work together to see improvements.
  8. Celebrate success: Make your efforts public to keep everyone motivated and updated throughout the process.

In this edition of the Business Magazine, we’ll take a look at the many ways that organizations can improve safety, as well as those that are building for the future, whether it is bricks and mortar or through their products and services. For instance, at First National Bank, the company has been focused on creating comprehensive benefits solutions for both employers and their employees, while at Urban Engineers, the firm is building a strong foundation in the community through its expertise and engineering with numerous construction projects.

In this month’s HR Connection, we’ll also address some of the hot topics in safety today. And, be sure to check out the critical information in November’s Legal Brief article on why employers should beware of misclassification of construction workers.

Plus, with the holidays right around the corner, get a jump-start on your to-do list with our annual Corporate Gift Giving & Event Planning Guide. It’s a great place to find some cool ideas for celebrating with your customers and employees this holiday season!