Building a Workplace Safety Culture in 8 Steps
- Step 1: Evaluate risk.
- Step 2: Set goals.
- Step 3: Include everyone.
- Step 4: Determine responsibilities.
- Step 5: Implement training.
- Step 6: Communicate & report.
- Step 7: Exchange feedback.
- Step 8: Continue improving.
How can you encourage a culture of safety?
Encourage Safety Education & Training – Safety-focused continuing education and training opportunities are critical components of a culture of safety. By reviewing workplace and job site activities and then discussing potential hazards, employees can understand why safety applies to the organization.
In an effort to keep the safety conversation flowing, SafetyStage developed a free download of 29 toolbox talk topics for construction professionals. Custom and relevant training further encourage a culture of safety. For example, operations education pieces may focus on proper handling of materials, safe operation of heavy machinery, and appropriate storage of tools or equipment.
Creating the framework for safety procedures and the reasoning behind those procedures will, in most cases, empower employees to take a more active role in working safely. Each quarter, consider providing resources that address safety hazards for that season.
Winter – Ice (fall risk) Spring – Flooding (trench cave-in risk) Summer – Heat (dehydration risk) Fall – Less Daylight (struck-by risk)
Encourage near-miss reporting and follow up on incidents to bolster your safety culture. Near-miss data, including the time, date, and location of the event, is beneficial for safety training. Employees can utilize detailed descriptions of how a near-miss was avoided to learn more about job risks.
Prioritizing the safety of employees creates an even stronger commitment from them while on the job. Conduct weekly safety meetings to address injuries incurred on the job. This reminds workers of the real dangers present while they work. Remaining consistent each week with safety-focused discussions keeps safety top of mind for employees, minimizing their likelihood of being involved in a safety incident.
6 Key Parts of Improving Safety Culture
Encouraging participation in annual training and continuing education offerings focused on fall protection, lock out/tag out, and other construction hazards will help employees build confidence in their capabilities while also enforcing safety.
What are the goals of safety culture?
10 Patient Safety Goals – The Joint Commission recommends leaders focus on five components of safety culture: trust, accountability, identifying unsafe conditions, strengthening systems, and assessment. The Commission also outlined actions that healthcare organizations should implement to create and sustain an atmosphere that encourages a culture of safety.
Create a transparent, non-punitive approach to reporting adverse events, close calls, and unsafe conditions. Establish a transparent and just process for recognizing human error, errors based on poorly designed systems, and errors based on reckless actions. Encourage all leaders to model appropriate safety behaviors and champion efforts to eradicate the intimidation of employees who report safety incidents. Communicate policies that encourage and enforce a safety culture and the reporting of adverse events, close calls, and unsafe conditions. Provide positive recognition for staff members who identify or report adverse events, close calls, and unsafe conditions. Utilize safety culture performance assessments and surveys, such as the AHRQ’s Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPS), for a deeper understanding of the organization’s safety culture and unwritten rules. Develop quality and safety improvements based on assessment and survey outcomes. Establish a safety culture quality team to organize and implement safety systems. Encourage staff to ask questions and clarify uncertainties without fear of intimidation or rejection. Repeat organizational safety culture assessments every 18 to 24 months for an open-ended review of patient safety goals.
What is a safety culture toolbox talk?
Start your shift with a few minutes of useful conversation about effective ways to prevent hazards at work and protect employees from injuries on the job. These brief documents provide examples you can use during required safety meetings to train workers on various safety and health issues.
- A Toolbox Talk is an informal group discussion that focuses on a particular safety issue.
- Use these Toolbox Talks to spark discussion and action at the beginning of the shift.
- Toolbox Talks guide workers and teams through preventing many hazards on the job.
- Visit the Construction Center of Excellence (CCE) where you can download the App for Apple and Android smart phones.
All Toolbox Talks are available in English and Spanish. L&I’s Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) program funded the creation of these Toolbox Talks and the Construction Center of Excellence (CCE) produced them.