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Safety Culture?

It seems that everyone is jumping on the Safety Culture bandwagon recently. Nothing wrong with that but personally I feel we need to understand and fix the basics before thinking about doing more.


Any organisation wanting to improve its Safety Culture or Organisational Culture has to look at 2 things first.

1) Do we have all the hardware, equipment, machines in place?

2) Do we have all the processes, systems (ie management systems) in place?


Sure you may argue "we have all this but still people don't follow the rules or use the equipment how it was designed"


I love to bring kids into this argument.

When my kids were babies/toddlers- we had the cot to ensure that the baby wont roll off the bed. We also had lots of soft pillows on the floor just in case.

(Hardware)

As they grew older, we gave them rules. What time they need to go to bed. For them not to fiddle with the bed barriers we had (no more cot) etc. We would also do routine checks and monitor via the baby camera. (all these are systems)

And as kids grow, we cannot just depend on the hardware or the rules to keep them safe. We speak to them and we explain why we as parents want to do certain things or why they need to do certain things. Getting their buy in with the WHY. Explaining to them. Yes we still had the "rules".


See in my view Safety Culture or Organisational Culture is much like that. Fix your hardware and your systems and work with your people to explain and share the WHY you want to do certain things or how things are supposed to be done. If people knew how important their tasks were, they would do them as best as they could.


After all Safety Culture is just the collection of the beliefs, perceptions and values that your people and your employees have and share within an organization. People must belief in the vision and mission of WHY you or your company wants to improve its safety performance.


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