Step 1 - Demonstrate Commitment To Safety
To begin building a strong safety culture, you must begin at the most senior levels of your organization. You must make safety a company wide value that carries in every activity conducted throughout your company. Building a strong safety culture means safety must be equally as important as budget, schedule and productivity. This shift in values must be portrayed in both words and actions in order for the culture of the company to advance. If you want your employees to wear proper PPE you must set the example by ensuring all senior levels of your organization also follow the same instruction.
Step 2 - Assess Risks and Hazards
Once you have decided that safety is a requirement and you have established commitment to safety, next we must assess risks and hazards regularly to ensure hazards are known and acknowledged by all staff within your organization. Hiring a professional safety officer to assist in developing a comprehensive risk assessment is a great start. Implementing a behavioral / conditional observation program that is completed by the workers on a set frequency is an additional way to identify hazards throughout your company and the activities you perform.
Step 3 - Develop Company Protocol
Now that you have identified hazards and risks associated with your organization, you can begin developing guidelines to mitigate the risk of these hazards. These guidelines should be written and provided to each employee as part of their employment requirements. This is a critical step as it creates an environment where employees are responsible and accountable for their own safety and the safety of those around them.
Step 4 - Educate Employees
Typically training occurs at the start of employment, however in an effort to build a strong safety culture, you must continue to promote training and education so your employees stay up to date on assessment of hazards as well as mitigating hazards. Any time hazards, policies, or procedures change, employees need to be informed of the new situation in order for employees to remain safe in their daily activities. This also demonstrates to your employees that safety is a commitment that all members of your organization will adhere to.
Step 5 - Implement, Evaluate and Repeat
With the above steps completed, you must proceed with implementing the procedures and policies established. You must investigate all incidents and adapt the procedures and policies as needed to include corrective action requirements as required. You should also create an environment where employees feel safe providing feedback and concerns. The biggest hurdle of any company is when employees feel that speaking up on sensitive topics will result in some form of discipline. It is essential that your organization allows for this open flow of communication in order to create and maintain a strong safety culture because if you don't know a problem exists, how can you solve it?