Promoting a strong health and safety (H&S) culture is not rocket science, but it takes time, effort and resources!
The overall culture in a company has a tremendous effect on the health and safety performance of employees. Culture is a notoriously tricky concept to pin down and fully understand. In slightly vague terms, the H&S culture of an organisation is the summation of groups values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies and behavioural patterns (Health and Safety Executive). These together determine the commitment to, and the style of, H&S management.
Here are some warning signs you need to be careful off, some signs that you’re on the right track, and some solid advice for boosting your health and safety culture.
Warning signs of a poor health and safety culture
- There is little demonstrated commitment to H&S from senior management.
- There’s a natural tendency to rationalise shortcuts when under pressure, especially when nothing bad happens.
- The risk assessment was just another ‘job to be done’ and therefore lacks proper risk conceptualisation.
- Employees are not aware of, or don’t understand, the organisation's safety policy.
- Accidents are…