To create a safety culture within your business, do not focus solely on the safety programing. Rather, take it to the managers. Without managerial support, no type of safety program is going to be effective. Creating a safety culture, though, can yield positive results and reduce losses. To do this, the employer must prioritize the workplace health and safety in a meaningful way.
Creating a Safety Climate
In a study conducted at the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health, researchers found a significant link between those businesses with a positive safety climate and workplace injuries. The study also found that situations that interfered with family life or the demands in the family put a greater risk on employees and their ability to do their job. But, what makes a safety culture?
Key Components Required for an Effective Safety Climate
Creating a safety culture within the workplace is a key step every employer needs to take if that employer hopes to see significant changes in losses and employee safety. Rather than sticking up posters and a list of guidelines, it is best to create a safety culture that happens throughout all levels of the business.
- Does the commitment to safety start with the business owner and top level management? Does the president of the company communicate the priority of safety within the business? Is it a focus of the company’s mission statement?
- Are policies and procedures written down? Communication about safety must be effective and for that to happen, a set of procedures is necessary. Write them down and share them. The physical demands and functions of each job needs documentation.
- Are sufficient resources provided to ensure a safety culture exists? This includes dedicating enough time, budget, staff and resources to achieve safety goals. It includes ensuring the team has the proper training and equipment for safety.
- Is there a level of accountability present? When safety violations occur, what really happens? Does the employer take these actions serious enough to take action? This sets the precedent for every other layer in the business model.
- What steps are taken and written down, to track safety procedures and policies? Is there a managerial task set up to ensure that safety tasks are managed? Do senior managers participate in this?
Creating an effective safety culture is critical to managing a business. Employers must make this a focus of their every day function as well as their mission. In doing so, it will not only help employers to achieve the goal of less liability and loss but it also enables employees to feel safe on the job.
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