safety culture

10 ways to improve safety culture

Author: BLR

1. Get buy-in

It is important to get buy in from upper management and buy in from the employees. A good way to do this is to speak “their language.”  For upper management, focus on things like cost, value, and ROI.  Engage with employees by keeping the conversation funny and light. The goal is to ensure your people know that you care about them and their safety. 

2. Collect meaningful data

Assess where you are currently using your resources. Look at things like incidents, severity, training hours, and employee engagement.  Get employees thoughts on safety and gather behavior observations to measure where your culture is currently. (This will be important for #6 as well!)

3. Form a team and set goals

Include members from all areas of your company in the safety team. It is important that their input is heard! Change this team up periodically so that progress doesn’t stagnate and so that everyone feels involved.  Set lofty goals that will be hard to reach BUT don’t set goals that diminish the safety culture! For example, don’t set a goal of zero if it will prevent your employees from reporting incidents. This is very dependent on your individual company! Be sure to define the responsibilities that everyone will need to take to reach the goals you set

4. Make safety a core value

Make safety a core value of your company. In every meeting and major conversation, it needs to be evident that safety is at the forefront of the conversation. Your employees need to be comfortable sharing when something is not safe, and they need to know it is important to the company to resolve their issue or concern. 

5. Communicate and empower

Talk to employees regularly and continue to perform behavior observations regularly to measure the change and growth in your company.  Give employees the power to report and fix issues without the fear of backlash from your company and reward the employees who are actually making a difference. 

6. Be sure to measure

Progress is great! But how can you be sure you’re making progress without taking steps to measure it? Keep track so that you know you are implementing the right solutions. Track your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), goals, and metrics. Don’t forget to also track the balances for upper management. Look at the cost of what you are doing and the return it is providing. This will make it easier to keep other stakeholders  on board even though it may take time to get measurable results. 

7. Focus on improvement, not perfection

No company is going to reach perfection! Don’t let your lofty goal blind you from the progress that you are making. Definitely don’t let these goals discourage you or the other employees and be sure to encourage them about the progress that is being made. 

8. Adjust the environment

Update to a safety focused environment. Include things like safety posters, employee safety awards, and motivation to help employees keep safety top of mind. Promoting a safety culture throughout the year can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be – try downloading our workplace safety meetings calendar for a year’s worth of safety meeting topics and observances you can celebrate throughout the year. 

9. Celebrate the wins

Let everyone see the progress you are making and make a show of the successes you do achieve to keep excitement up. This will also help in keeping your workers feeling engaged and proud of their safety program. 

10. Get an EHS management software

A versatile and robust EHS management system ensures EHS professionals can seamlessly interweave into their companies’ approaches to sustainability and corporate responsibility. Learn more about what BLR has to offer here.