A culture of safety refers to a system of common attitudes and practices within a workplace that place an emphasis on the importance of safety on a day-to-day basis. Workplaces that create a strong safety culture have been found to have a reduced likelihood of accidents, according to findings from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) because of the common focus of preventing and correcting potentially dangerous behavior. Learn more about how to create a culture of safety at your facility with these tips:
Emphasize the Importance
Get the staff of the entire facility on the same page about the benefits of a safety culture. Make it clear that safety is something that is a concern above all else, including productivity. Point out how taking additional safety measures affects the entire workplace in a positive manner – besides fewer accidents, places with a safety culture also generally experience a reduction in employee turnover, less missed work days, and increased productivity.
Develop Equality among All Levels of Employees
A benchmark of a facility with a safety culture is when lower level employees feel comfortable approaching supervisors with regards to safety, such as a machine worker kindly reminding a manager to put on safety glasses. Communicate to all levels of staff that paying attention to safety is a positive thing and no one should feel above it or uncomfortable reminding others to participate in it.
Focus on Causes Instead of Blame
In a safety culture, when accidents do occur, they are handled much differently than in facilities that don’t emphasize safety above all else. Instead of assigning blame and disciplining for unsafe behavior that result in accidents, a safety culture looks for the underlying causes of what contributed, such as if workers felt rushed to bypass safety measures to produce faster.
Provide Opportunities for Feedback
Make the topic of safety something that is always open for communication. Let employees know that feedback or suggestions about changing or improving safety measures are always welcomed. Request their feedback about what would make it easier for them to follow safety protocol and take it into consideration when developing or updating regulations.
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