Are You Nurturing a Safety Culture in the Workplace?

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Corporate value #4: Safety

Many of the world’s largest corporations from a wide range of sectors such as BP – Oil and Gas, Dupont – Agriculture, Boeing – Aviation choose Safety as one of their corporate values.


Why? Because your people do!

When employees feel that their safety is of utmost importance they feel valued and reciprocate by making a commitment to look after themselves and fellow colleagues.

 

Instilling a safety culture – Then and now

Child LabourIn Victorian England social reform sought to eliminate the appalling health and safety conditions seen in mills, factories and workshops where hundreds were injured and killed each year – and few people batted an eyelid.

Fortunately, in developed countries at least, we have come a long way since the 1800s (thanks to ongoing reforms) with sturdy health and safety laws in place to protect us from both physical and mental injury at work.

But despite these stringent laws companies are taking it upon themselves to add safety to their corporate values and culture. Why? Because these days business savvy, not political leaning, dictates employee care.

Safety as a culture

A wise business leader knows that if you look after your employees, they will look after you (and your business). An even wiser business leader knows that creating ownership and asking employees to look after themselves and each other reaps even better results.

Health and safety can be a perennial headache – no sooner have you fixed one issue another pops up. Consequently it pays to have as many people in charge of health and safety as possible.

Full employee participation on H&S issues, processes and procedures is a cost-effective solution as it instils a culture of ownership where everyone is responsible for reporting problems and initiating solutions. In effect businesses should be aiming for a collaborative safety partnership between management and employees.

The cost of neglect

Managed improperly H&S can cost millions in damages and lawsuits. Managed well it can prevent such costs AND save money.

Keep employee morale safe

Sadly many employers seem unable to stay on top of H&S. Without ownership and solid reporting procedures incidents and near misses are blamed on the employer and even other team members. This approach, or lack thereof, leads to an unwillingness to take any responsibility for safety in the workplace and a general malaise and dip in morale as employees believe “there is no point in reporting anything or doing anything about it because no-one takes action”.

Safe and happy

Corporate values exist, to a great extent, to ensure the employee is equipped to perform well. At the heart of this is keeping employees happy. Safety, therefore, seems an excellent value to build into a working culture – because if people don’t feel their safety is a priority they are unlikely to feel happy!

Safety is everyone’s business

Is ownership and accountability an integral part of your company culture? Find out how you can boost employee morale here

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