When establishing a positive Safety Culture, clear safety leadership is one of the top priorities.
Leadership is important when creating a culture that fosters and promotes positive health and safety performance within an organization. The person responsible for this performance is vital in encouraging employees to achieve a high level of productivity and safety, requiring them to apply great leadership attributes on a daily basis.
It is pivotal that these individuals are well trained in their roles as safety leaders and are capable to apply their skills at every level of the company. When managers and leaders are properly trained in safety leadership skills, workplace incidents can be reduced and overall productivity can be greatly improved. While clear leadership needs to be the number one priority when establishing a positive Safety Culture, there are several other principles that should be considered by safety leaders.
Receiving Management’s Commitment
It is important for senior management to lead by example and demonstrate visible commitment to safety throughout the entire organisation. For example, a senior manager should challenge any unsafe business decisions that may occur to reinforce that their actions match their words. Such commitment from the higher level of an organization will create a shared vision of safety throughout the organization.
Establish Safety as a Top Priority
Any business decision will host a number of competing factors: cost, quality, opportunity cost, etc. It is important that senior managers prioritize safety in their business objectives and all decision making.
Develop a habit of personally conducting safety walkabouts. This will show commitment and managers will be aware of the actual safety conditions within their area. These walkabouts will also provide the opportunity for managers to get to know their team better and hold productive conversations about safety.
Create a Learning Culture
Employees at all level should be encouraged to contribute ideas for improvement and be made aware of what achieving a positive safety performance means in terms of their own role. Establishing a learning culture allows an organization to recognize, learn, and change unsafe conditions and behaviors.
Establish an Effective Safety Management System
Organizations require effective systems for the management of safety. Such systems should be led by the most senior safety manager in an organization, with the support of the senior management team and their safety colleagues.
Objectives should be set for safety performance and should be constantly monitored and reported. All levels of employees should also be regularly updated on safety outcomes.
The ultimate goal of all these principles is to implement positive change within an organization. Achieving these requires involvement from all levels and constant planning, executing, and reporting. With these simple steps safety leadership can achieve true safety greatness.