- Safety processes are often in place for compliance purposes instead of safeguarding employee wellbeing and increasing the company’s efficiency.
- Effective and efficient safety cultures encompass all aspects of safety— including continual reevaluation of the policies themselves — and how policies are perceived by employees and management.
- A truly embedded safety culture involves a continually evolving, perception changing approach that looks at safety from all facets, including outside reviews and audits.
- Every aspect of the company has to be considered and aligned with safety systems. This means facilitating two-way communication from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top.
- The key is to never stop trying to improve your approach and response to safety in your corporate culture.
- Taking our FREE survey to instantly find out if there are any gaps in your current safety processes.
Many organizations make the assumption that safety considerations are naturally built into their company culture due to legal and ethical consequences.
However, even in companies with established safety procedures and policies in place, the assumption that safety is fully embedded within the corporate culture is often incorrect. These processes are often in place simply for compliance purposes instead of being there to safeguard the wellbeing of employees and in turn, increase the company’s efficiency. Therefore, it is essential to always ask the question, “Is safety embedded in your culture?”
Stop the Blame Game
From corporate managers to workers, there is a tendency to play the blame game when it comes to lapses in safety.
There is often the mantra of, “If only X procedure had been followed then Y wouldn’t have happened.” Workplace accidents are sometimes a symptom of a much larger problem in safety processes, therefore passing the blame can be an indication that the corporate safety culture is lacking.
Additionally, it reinforces the perception to employees that safety policies and procedures are an impediment to your business, instead of being an advantage. An effective and efficient safety culture encompasses all aspects — including continual reevaluation of the policies themselves — and how these policies are perceived by those who are required to follow or implement them.
Prevent Internal Cognitive Bias
While the blame game usually occurs when there is a lapse in safety, another detriment occurs when there are no lapses and everything is seemingly working as intended.
This situation can occur regardless of business size and tends to happen more frequently in corporations with well-established safety management systems. A truly embedded safety culture involves a continually evolving, perception changing approach that looks at safety from all facets, including outside reviews and audits.
Safety As A Partner
Along with stopping the blame game and preventing internal bias, one of the most assured ways of embedding safety into your corporate culture and having it stay that way is to treat safety as your corporate partner.
Every aspect of the company has to be considered and aligned with your safety systems and policies. This does not imply a top-down approach, but one that facilitates two-way communication from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top.
In other words, every individual and department is treated as a safety stakeholder and encouraged to function as such.
Never Stop Reinventing Your Safety Approach!
If it is not readily apparent, the key is to never stop trying to improve your approach and response to safety in your corporate culture.
HSE approaches, technologies and methodologies are constantly improving, changing and evolving. By combining internal systems with an outside approach and review, your corporate safety system and culture can take advantage of these changes to continually improve your processes.
In addition, it can position your company at the forefront of potential future regulatory changes as well, thus reducing your exposure.
Safety and HSE has to be embedded as part of your corporate culture in order for your company to truly see the benefits this kind of culture can present — as opposed to a safety process that’s only there for compliance. The approach to building this culture cannot be a one-time, fire and forget situation and it must be continually reevaluated to ensure it is providing the right value for your company. A great place for you to start is by taking our FREE survey to instantly find out if there are any gaps in your current safety processes.