Why Does Safety Culture Matter?
It seems like safety culture is a hot topic when discussing behaviour based safety. What is safety culture and how does it impact the workplace? Safety culture is engrained into the actual personality of a company. It defines the environment in which your workforce will participate. Safety culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations and goals.
Companies that embrace safety culture have buy-in from employees at every level of their organization. Every employee is a hands-on contributor, no one hesitates to pose questions directly to management during toolbox talks or safety meetings. This is an important piece.
Why Does Safety Culture Matter?
Safety culture is important to employees because workers are more likely to enjoy their time in the workplace when they feel that they contribute directly to management decisions on safety culture. Employees tend to enjoy work when not only their needs and values are consistent with those in the workplace but also they feel like their voice is heard when they don't feel prepared to perform unsafe work. They tend to develop better relationships with coworkers, and are even more productive.
On the other hand, if you work for a company where safety culture is not taken seriously, you are likely to take far less pleasure out of your work and perform tasks with lower quality. These companies often have higher employee churn and a less motivated workforce.
If you're looking for a company that values you and your family, the safety culture will be a big component of your decision making when evaluating prospective employers.
Safety culture is important to employers too, because workers who fit in with the safety culture are likely to not only be happier, but more productive. When an employee fits in with the culture, they are also likely to want to work for that company for longer. Thus, employers can improve productivity and employee retention through a strong safety culture.
4 Steps to Take to Increase Safety Culture
- Ensure everyone in the organization knows the expectations when it comes to safety
- Have clear goals for workers to participate in the safety program
- Create a narrative around safety by starting every meeting off with a spotlight on safety
- Look into technology solutions, like SafetyTek, where you can start communicating with your workers in real-time about safety
Workers! Make Sure There's a Good Fit
Jobs aren't just a pay-check, and, given the amount of time spent working, it's important for both the company and the worker to make sure there's a fit. If you're not going to feel safe working at a job or for a company, it is better to pass on the opportunity and move on. Don't become a story on the six o'clock news, or worry your family when you show up late after work. Before you accept a job you're not sure about, take some time to ensure the company has taken steps to ensure worker safety, as this is a sign of a company that cares about its largest asset... The workers!
I'll leave you with one last thing, a testimonial from one of our early adopter clients:
"Positive Results In Our Safety Program. The old adage of “the proof is in the pudding” comes to mind with the tremendous improvement in results our company has experienced with the introduction of SafetyTek into our Health and Safety Program.
We are grateful for the timing of being involved on the ground floor of an up and coming company like SafetyTek. From the very beginning, the SafetyTek team of Craig Fraser and Ryan Quiring have worked closely with our frontline Safety personnel to develop the right forms and train our forces on how to use the program technology to achieve OH&S Compliance and the best results for our employees.
Ultimately the best outcome is fewer safety incidents and more employees going home safe and healthy to their family and friends at the end of each day.
As a further benefit to fewer incidents is fewer WCB Claims which resulted in an 85% reduction in annual WCB costs compared to the previous 5 years which translates to a win/win/win outcome for employee’s being able to stay on the job, the corporate bottom line and as a result the economy as a whole."