Safety Culture: A Top-of-Mind Priority for Businesses in 2022

Safety Culture: A Top-of-Mind Priority for Businesses in 2022

Recently, the term “workplace culture” has gained widespread acceptance. More than just a buzzword, workplace safety culture refers to the way things are done within a business environment. Rather than referring to your business’s specific safety policy and program, safety culture encapsulates the attitudes, mindsets, and behaviors of owners, managers, supervisors and workers toward safety in the workplace. 

Positive safety culture is a crucial part of a successful and effective safety program. More often than not, business owners may find the idea of changing or building safety culture daunting as “the way it is” within their companies has fallen into a pattern of complacency. And this, in any case, can’t be good. The effects of complacency can be unfavorable:  injuries, illnesses, accidents, even loss of life could result. 

Applying Positive Changes into Your Safety Culture 

Solid businesses are shaped by their culture. Embedding a safe production culture optimizes operations and is mirrored positively in profit margins. In 2022, more than ever, putting safety first when it comes to production is vital. The good news? The necessity is being recognized by companies and safety leaders. 

In the last two years, many companies stepped up to challenge and made massive changes in workplace safety leadership in an accelerated period of time. As we gradually return to new normalcy, the next question to ask is: how can you apply these positive changes to your company culture? 

Recent findings from a combination of surveys and interviews of CEOs from 100 small to large companies found that 83 per cent of respondents said their organizations share more recognition for employees who are working under challenging circumstances; 88 per cent reported more frequent investigations into employees’ personal experience in a demonstration of active care; and 84 per cent said that there had been an upsurge in transparent communication from organizations on business updates, challenges, and priorities. 

Top companies have also improved active care by proactively applying daily wellness checkups and paid sick leave. A study from McKinsey shows that companies have considerably increased support for employees since the pandemic began, including expanding paid leave options and mental health support. 

Recent events have shown us that if businesses don’t capitalize on these positive changes and focus on applying them to their work culture, any progress is likely to be lost as they return to “new normalcy”. On a personal level, business owners must acknowledge small-scale habits that promote a positive work culture. 

Improving Safety Culture is a Valuable Business Skill 

The practice of culture changes recognizes that everything is connected. From employee safety to your customers ‘experience, your business is an ecosystem full of variables that are difficult to measure or adjust. Managers or leaders who place production and profit over the safety of their employees, who are neglecting their faltering safety culture or exceed safeguards to get the job done, or how to fail to follow and support regulatory requirements only because their time is limited, can create an unsafe work culture. 

So how can business leaders use their unique skills and tools to promote a safe culture and protect employees? It all begins with the anticipation of safety needs and understanding that improving safety culture is a valuable business skill demanding everyone’s participation – from front-line workers to CEO.

If being committed to your path of safety culture improvement seems daunting, consider the following: 

Business is about commitment and communication 

Both are key aspects of a positive and successful safety culture in the workplace. Initially, commitment is a critical element that requires a company’s top management to commit to safe operations. To do so, approach team leaders and front-line employees with facts and statistics. Present your teams with tangible benefits that they can see a return on their investment, such as reduction in absenteeism, employee welfare, better reporting, and a detailed picture of current issues. Promote clear and reachable goals. Preferably, you would like to have a commitment to guaranteeing zero harm within all operations and a promise that everything will be done for all contractors and teams to go home safely. 

Communication on all fronts can help the transition to safer workplace culture. A great way to increase safety communication is to hold routine safety talks on topical and relevant safety news within your industry. Making your organization’s safety policy widely available to your team can help with the implementation of expectations and best practices when it comes to the completion of safe work.

Safety Management Software is Now a Viable Option  

To maintain an overview of all aspects of safety policy in the workplace, robust safety management software is crucial. At its core, this tool offers an organized way to manage all safety-related activity on a work site in high-risk industries.

This starts with the identification of hazards and includes safety policy plans, safety training schedules, objective setting, meeting schedules, reporting procedures, assigning responsibilities, and anything else that applies. Tools like EHS app software enables teams and managers from varying industries to carry around safety forms and work permits on mobile without being impeded by common administrative practices. At the very least, the software allows an organization or company to meet its legal obligations according to the relevant local or national health safety regulatory body.

EHS software pricing may vary according to the package you choose or the industry you work in; however, the benefits exceed anything else. Having an EHS system reduces the risk of siloed information and mistakes due to a lack of shared knowledge. It also contributes to your business safety culture with everyone on the same page. 

With a quality EHS in place and an effective action plan, safety risk management becomes achievable across varying industries. 

Leading By Example 

It’s crucial that you lead by example; following all safety policies will engage your team and encourage them to do the same. If site managers and business owners are willing to commit to safety, employees will follow suit. Implementing a clear accountability process can promote a positive safety culture. For instance, having responsible team members for health and safety procedures can help with accountability and promote the metrics of leading by example. 

Businesses with a strong safety culture understand that incidents and emergencies could happen at any time and have a solid system in place to immediately deal with them. 

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