VIEWPOINT: Embedding a safety first culture
Imagine you're a manager walking through a warehouse in office shoes and you step outside the safe pedestrian area into a safety boot-only area. How likely is it that a member of staff will challenge you?
While many organisations say they want to have a safety-first culture, not all of them achieve it: the process isn't always an easy transition and yes, it does include creating a working environment where people speak up if they have safety concerns. But it's how to get to that point.
A good health & safety culture must be embedded throughout an organisation, from the boardroom to the shop floor, if it's going to work. Every single person should have a voice and feel free to make suggestions about safety.
Honest feedback is critical to success. If you don't get feedback, you won't uncover any flaws in your working practices and if you wait until something happens, you could end up with a serious accident - and then it's too late.
With feedback, you can put preventative measures in place. When people suggest good ideas, you should put at least some of them into practice, otherwise people won't have faith in the process and suggestions will dry up.
Communication and training are keys to creating a safety-first culture. Everyone in the company should be clear about what safe procedures are in place and the process to follow in reporting near-misses or suggesting improvements. Near-misses can give you vital insights in how to prevent accidents in the future.
Instil a programme of continuous improvement Send staff on training, create bespoke training, issue newsletters, hold meetings, create a dedicated safety working group - do everything you can to give people ownership and ensure that individual staff members take responsibility for their own safety and that of their colleagues and the public.
It's vital for your business. After all, if someone doesn't care even about their own safety, how can you expect them to care about the safety of others?
Article sourced from Motor Transport 11 November 2019 Issue Click here to view