The expression ‘Safety Culture’ is generating a buzz in workplaces across Australia, typically advocated by WHS Managers, but too often the term is thrown around without sufficient education or training. As a result, people are left misinformed, confused and disengaged; which creates a significant hazard when it comes to risk management.
Understanding exactly what Safety Culture is and what influences the culture of your organisation can make a significant contribution towards changing employee attitudes and behaviours in relation to workplace health and safety.
So, what is safety culture all about?
According to one of the world’s leading authorities in Behavioural Safety, Dr Dominic Cooper it’s about the perceptions, beliefs, behaviour and management systems that combine to form an organisation’s ‘safety culture’.
Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs and attitudes which shape behaviour and human factors.
An organisations safety culture is the result of a number of factors such as:
- Management and employee norms, assumptions, beliefs and attitudes
- Organisation Values, myths, stories;
- Policies and procedures;
- Supervisor priorities, responsibilities and accountability;
- Production and bottom line pressures vs. quality issues;
- Actions or lack of action to correct unsafe behaviours;
- Worker training and motivation; and
- Worker involvement or “buy-in.”
Good safety management is good business management.
How do you engage your employees for risk management?
Some organisations are starting to “get it”, but of course, lots of companies still fall behind, and might not believe in the power of engagement. It’s possible that they don’t see the dollar value of it, or maybe they simply don’t care.
Worker engagement should be high on the to-do list when aiming to create buy in which can increase an individual’s understanding of work health and safety outcomes associated with their decisions, behaviours and actions. Each organisation will differ, but it can be as simple as gently reminding your colleagues and employees, or as complex as utilising a workplace health and safety program.
Posters are a great, simple way to enhance or initiate a safety culture within your organisation. Make your employees aware of how to make lower-risk decision controls, and reduce the risk of injury in your workplace.
You can also get in contact with our Safety Team to see how RRP can assist with implementing a positive safety behavioural program within your organisation!
Call us on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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