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Purdal Mya's picture

How do you impact the Safety Culture of an organization?

I want to know more about how you can help take an organization that has a low emphasis on Safety Culture to a more ingrained, high awareness Safety Culture?

How, as a H&S professionals are you impacting and changing the attitude and culture of Safety within your organizations? What tools/resources are you leveraging so that Safety becomes a top priority? What sort of roadblocks have you faced and how did you overcome them? What was that "ah ha" moment that your organization had that worked for you?

September 17, 2015 @ 01:39 PM EDT Other Health & Safety

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Great question Purdal. Culture is created by the leaders in an organization so in your case you need leaders to see safety as critical to the success of their organization. This often isn't the case since most CEO's are rewarded on profits and shareholder return. So we need to build the business case that shows how a culture that ensures a safe environment promotes more productivity and less costs.
In addition, the cost of an unsafe environment is rising. Social media tools are raising the profile of safety events. Employees have the opportunity to rate their employers on apps like Glassdoor. If you company starts to get a reputation for being unsafe, people won't apply for work there. Videos and pictures of a company operating unsafely can go viral in a minute. This can have an impact on customer loyalty. Just pull out David Carrol's YouTube video about United Airlines ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo ) with over 15 million views as an example. United was hit badly.
As Tamara mentioned, it's a balancing act. You must be sensitive to what the leaders see as a priority and try and frame safety into one of those priorities as opposed to making it a stand alone priority. Having said that, every manager can influence the culture of those around them. Find champions of safety and work with them to start a ripple effect. If you can get them to prove the case by increasing productivity/reduce costs you will be able to engage an ever increasingly larger audience. For more info about shifting culture you can check out my blogs at www.carolring.ca/blog

October 14, 2015 @ 16:21
Carol Ring's picture

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I have found that culture development is a very delicate balancing act.

Have you ever noticed Purdal how it can change greatly depending on the work group, department or location within the same company?

The roadblock I have noticed; leaders believing the safety "culture" IS the same across the whole workplace.

September 17, 2015 @ 14:32
Tamara Parris's picture

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