Creating buy-in to your workplace safety culture

A positive workplace safety culture can result in improved workplace health and safety (WHS) and organisational performance. 

Every worker should feel comfortable in calling out unsafe work practices. 

Whether your employee is not confident in the task they are about to perform, or if your employee witnesses an activity that has the potential to cause harm, the first step as an employer it to encourage them to call it out and start a conversation. 

The culture of inaction stems from a variety of reasons

Employees might:

  • be under time and budget constraints and feeling pressured by their employer;
  • be fearful of calling out a friend for doing the wrong thing;
  • not have a positive leader in the group; or 
  • simply not have adequate training in safe work systems.
Buy-in is needed!

It is not enough these days to simply have a written management system that details all the positive statements about how you will manage safety in the workplace. There needs to be a buy-in from company personnel and contractors. 

Lead from the front

Key personnel such as managers and supervisors need to be the ones leading from the front, promoting the company management system and encouraging a safe work culture. This should have a flow-on effect to your employees; contractors wanting to engage in your work practices; and customers wanting to work with your organisation. 

Importance of contractor selection

Your contractor selection can also be very importance in influence your workplace safety culture. If you have contractors who are not willing to buy into your workplace culture and practices, there will always be that disconnect and opposition to your values. 

This is why it is so important to engage with contractors who align with your organisational values from the outset. Something as simple as a meeting or a coffee with your contracting group to express the culture you are trying to achieve and what it means to them can pay dividends. 

Work teams striving to achieve the same goals

All contracts / projects consist of a collective of different work teams striving to achieve the same goal. Different divisions, trades, contractors etc. interconnect on a daily basis, which is why it is critical to be mindful and respectful of the people working around you. 

As an employer, manager or supervisor, you need to be able to facilitate this kind of thinking amongst your workgroup. 

This is why creating a workplace culture where workers feel comfortable pulling people up when they see them doing wrong is so important. Likewise, if an employee makes a mistake, they should feel comfortable putting their hand up and taking ownership, without fear of reprisal. 

There is a solution to every problem, however problems cannot be resolved if they go unnoticed. 

The induction process

The induction process is a critical time to convey the organisational culture to new workers by explaining why accountability is important. If workers feel they are part of a team and not an individual, they will want to take responsibility, knowing that their actions affect others. 

Positive and safe work cultures

Having the right personnel and engaging contractors whose values align with you and your organisational values can only make for positive and safe workplace safety culture, which will ultimately improve productivity and quality.

Your workplace safety culture is important, and it forms part of your overall workplace culture. If you need guidance regarding anything mentioned in this article, remember we are here to help – or if you just need a chat, our contact details can be found here: Contact

 

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