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When evaluating an organization’s Safety Culture, one must take into consideration its efficiency at eliminating occupational hazards and reducing accidents and ill health.

 

It’s a common belief that an organization supports an effective Safety Culture when it:

  • Allows effective communication between all departments and promotes everyone’s participation and collaboration.
  • Assumes everyone is and feels responsible for Safety issues.
  • Embraces and celebrates success.
However, for those signs to show up, the organization’s top management should:
  • Treat Safety Culture as a core activity equally integrated with other core activities (production, human resources, quality etc.).
  • Provide full information to employees.
  • Promote and enhance communication without barriers concerning Safety.
  • Conduct ongoing training.
  • Promote employee participation and encourage them to make suggestions and take initiatives.
  • Keeps resources and time available in order to succeed in Safety while operating.

Organizations should comprehend and lead to a sustainable Safety System as long as they realize safety is good business and there is return on their investment (e.g. reduced operational costs and increased efficiency, improved employee’s morale and increased productivity).

Good results, in the traditional approach to occupational health and safety, especially when system’s integrity has been allowed to degrade, can be a matter of “luck”. If an organization utilizes solely either the lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) or any similar outcome-based measures, then it won’t have a full reflection of the health rate of safety culture, mostly because these measures:

  • Are attached to claims and injury management processes -after the incident- and not to real improvements in safety performance.
  • May be attributed to “good luck” and not to system’s improvements, therefore they give no indication of the organization’s risk level.
  • Give no further information on the management of the most serious organization’s hazards.

On that account, how can an organization evaluate its corporate safety culture?

By collaboratively using the above mentioned “outcome-based measures”, the organization should study to which extend the old and new management strategies and policies affect management commitment & leadership, ownership, supervision & decision-making, safety issues resolution, safety capacity reservoir, employee commitment & resourcefulness.

This should be done by systematically assessing everyone’s behavior on a sampling basis. The organization’s potential for improvement is determined by the underlying beliefs, values and norms shared by the organization’s personnel.

Process Engineering can help your organization to evaluate its corporate safety culture by:

  • Reviewing documentation, programs and policies.
  • Conducting safety walks. Influencing leadership to build awareness.
  • Utilizing a customized safety perception survey. Conducting group and individual interviews.

Process Engineering can provide a report focusing on possible internal actions, which raises valuable information on the readiness for both rapid and sustainable safety improvements and explores factors that may facilitate such improvements.

Safety culture is more like an iceberg that conceals more than meets the eye underneath the water surface. Thusly, always remember that organizations with strong safety cultures tend to be the most guarded against unpredicted accidents and ill health, and proactiveness is key to success.

For more information please contact the technical department of Process Engineering.

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