Safety Culture: The Foundation of Building a Successful Safety Program

With state and federal regulations constantly evolving, companies are being more proactive with their Environmental Health & Safety programs.
May 6, 2015 2:00 PM ET

With state and federal regulations constantly evolving, companies are being more proactive with their Environmental Health & Safety programs. Safety culture should be at the forefront of any successful EH&S program fostering an attitude and priority to keep employees safe.  Even if you are in compliance with required regulations, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a good safety culture. Safety culture can be defined as a set of values, actions and commitment for the safety of employees and the public. The following tips will get you on your way to building or improving your safety program.

1. Gain support from your superiors

If you’re an Environmental Health and Safety officer trying to make safety part of your company’s culture, you should first get buy in from key stakeholders. Once you’ve convinced them that a culture of safety is important for employee safety, your efforts will face fewer roadblocks from others in your organization.

2. Assess the current state of your EH&S program

No company is perfect, a transparent evaluation of your current EH&S program will provide a starting place to make improvements. It is important to give yourself and employees credit for what is right about your existing processes as well as what is wrong. These small victories can go a long way to creating a successful safety program, and boost employee morale.

3. Encourage employees to think safety first

Any successful safety program starts with enthusiastic, encouraged and informed employees. Reward departments for no accidents in a quarter, or have an award for the safest member on staff. Having employees reminded that safety is a personal and collective responsibility will make them more accountable.

4. Communicate and empower

Communication keeps safety top of mind and reinforces management’s commitment to a culture of health and safety as a strategic business objective and core value. If something isn’t right, speak up. There is no excuse for lack of communication to be the reason for an injury.

5. Be proactive and constantly reassess

Being proactive in your safety program keeps things fresh and employees engaged in the program. If something isn’t working, change it. You don’t have to be locked in to monotonous safety education and training that bores your audience. Assess the current state of your safety program on a monthly basis and pull employees aside to get their opinion on what works for them. Their safety is your number one priority.

Now that you have some information on various ways to improve your company’s safety culture, it is important to have the right tools moving forward. Source Intelligence offers comprehensive online services for building a successful EHS and SDS program. For information on any services offered by Source Intelligence click here.