Strong safety performance is a cornerstone of any business. When these characteristics come together to create a best-in-class safety culture, everyone wins:
- Fewer accidents, losses, and disruptions
- Improved employee morale
- Increased productivity
- Lower workers compensation and insurance claims
- Improved compliance with OSHA regulations
- Improved reputation to attract new customers and employees and retain existing ones
- Better brand and shareholder value
Characteristics of a Strong Safety Culture
A strong safety culture has a number of characteristics in common. Kestrel Tellevate’s research into the topic of safety culture has identified two traits that are particularly important to an effective safety culture:
- Employee engagement
Best-in-class safety cultures have robust systems in place to ensure that each of these traits, among others, is mature, well-functioning, and fully ingrained into the standard practices of the organization.
Assessing & Improving Safety Culture
Improving an organization’s occupational and/or process safety leadership and culture can have significant and lasting impacts on a company’s overall safety performance. The first step involves assessing the company’s current safety culture.
Assessing safety culture can be done by gathering data through a simple or blended approach. The options include administering a safety culture survey, undertaking interviews with key personnel within the organization, and leading focused discussions with employees. The culture survey gathers input from different levels of the organization, and each question is ranked in terms of known commitment and knowledge.
Performing a safety culture survey also provides an “as-is” benchmark for comparing future survey results to determine if improvement efforts have been effective and have fully permeated into all levels and units across the organization.
The mix of quantitative data (survey) and qualitative information (interviews and focus groups) provides data that can then be statistically analyzed, as well as a rich context for the results of the statistical analysis.
Using the collated data, we can work with the organization to develop an action plan to mitigate identified findings and build safety culture and leadership improvements.