Although more than three-quarters of hiring organizations said improving safety culture alignment among their contractors is the most effective approach for driving down serious injuries and fatalities in the workplace, but only around 20% of organizations believe they have achieved a sustained safety culture, according to a survey by ISN Software Corp.
In order to move toward the goal of a sustainable safety culture, Marie Anderson, executive vice president at ISN, says companies and their contractor partners should collect feedback on how employees view the safety culture today, set goals for where they want to be and run routine reassessments.
Of initial importance is understanding where an organization is at on its journey toward a sustainable safety culture, Anderson explains. This starts by collecting feedback on the safety culture from all levels of the organization. Getting input from front-line workers is particularly important, according to Anderson, who explains those employees are closest to risk.
“Understanding their perception and awareness of the hazards is a great starting point,” Anderson says.
Keeping the process to collect feedback simple, while making sure employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, is of utmost importance. To this end, Anderson suggests leveraging anonymous surveys and making sure that as many people in the organization as possible can access them.
“Once they do a survey, it is about taking action and communicating with the front-line workers,” Anderson says, adding it is important to let employees know that they are being heard.
From there it is about setting goals on where the organization wants to be, keeping a clear focus on industry standards and how to benchmark against them.
“A lot of it starts with leadership at the company. If they are committed to making changes and improvements, then helps facilitate the changes that need to take place,” Anderson says.
Reliable data and benchmarking can go a long way in helping get buy in from company leaders, she explains, as this makes it easier to compare where an organization stands against industry leaders.
It is important to benchmark against industry peers because contractors in various sectors have different safety culture engagement levels.
For example, the energy sector generally has higher ratings of engagement because the processes and technology applied to tasks are very similar across companies. There is also a common set of knowledge and safe working practices. On the other hand, manufacturing has radically different processes tasks technologies and outputs as it is a much more eclectic sector ranging from cars to paper goods.
Source – PropertyCasualty360.com