Aligning Your Safety Culture
A healthy safety culture is a broad, organisation-wide approach to safety management that is embraced by all organisation members. The actual safety culture is the result of combined individual and group efforts based on shared values, attitudes, goals and proficiency of an organisation’s health and safety program.
Safety performance statistics provide a rear vision mirror view of the safety culture. Many potential filters obscure the deployment of a safety culture at the front line. Only through an unobscured understanding of the actual deployment of a safety culture can an organisation reap consistent saving from superior safety performance.
All those involved in an organisation’s safety system present with a predisposition to work safely that is driven by their personality and values. Thus, the individual’s interpretation of the safety culture and its supporting systems will vary. The challenge is for an organisation to maintain a commitment to and consistency of the safety systems at the workface.
The frontline supervisor is the keystone to a safe work environment. They set the standard for their team; what interests them often will fascinate their direct reports. How they interpret and deploy the safety culture will determine safety outcomes. Frontline supervisor deployment of the safety culture is particularly important when considering the impact of an individual’s predisposition to work safely.
To create transparency, leaders can utilise several valid and reliable tools to understand the deployment of the safety culture at each level of their organisation, from screening potential team members to understanding the health of the safety culture.