What is safety culture?
‘The safety culture of an organisation is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organisation’s health and safety management.’ HSE
An organisation’s culture can have as big an influence on safety outcomes as the safety management system that is in place.
But how can you maintain a positive safety culture?
Communication is key.
In any business – communication is essential. Getting people of ALL levels to speak to each other about the risks of danger often unearths other concerns. This also works as a way to improve trust between employees and management. Effective and efficient communication can lead to further improvement, leading to much safer and better ways to complete a project or process within that business. This can also lead to the development of productive methods to complete tasks better and faster. Communication is the answer!
Enhancing your workplace safety culture involves your staff. They are the most important part of your business. When discussing what do in the event of an accident or emergency, it’s best to have an action plan readily available. It is imperative to define safety responsibilities and who is involved in policies and procedures. A chain of command is usually standard – discussing these and defining your chain of command is a great way to promote workplace safety and focus on employee welfare.
Identifying and tracking hazards are an essential part of maintaining workplace safety, as they can show where parts of your business operations are the most vulnerable. Tracking your hazards is the most proactive measure you can take and can make a business one step ahead, by predicting where accidents may occur – and putting preventative measures in place. There are software applications and interfaces that can help to track potential hazards. ZoneSafe’s data management system, Insight™ provides users with essential information about their potential hazards, and is displayed in a user friendly, graphical report format. Find out more about Insight here.
‘Organisations with a positive safety culture are characterised by communications founded on mutual trust, by shared perceptions of the importance of safety and by confidence in the efficacy of preventative measures.’ HSE – Organising for safety books
Many find the idea of building or changing their safety culture daunting – especially if that workplace has fallen into a pattern of staff complacency. Yet the effects of complacency can be catastrophic: injuries, illnesses, serious accidents – even loss of life can result from complacency at work.
Increasing awareness and improving site safety are key components of the ZoneSafe philosophy, and implementing their safety applications can drastically improve a workplace’s safety culture.
ZoneSafe Proximity Warning and Alert Systems do more than just give industrial vehicle drivers (such as forklift trucks, reach stackers or excavators) an alert to a pedestrian worker close by.
Over the years, the standard ZoneSafe system has been developed and re-engineered to include new applications and systems such as personnel and vehicle access control, walkway and crossing alerts, and asset protection.
One of the most interesting comments from clients who use ZoneSafe is not just how well the system works but that the safety culture and environment drastically changes within a work site. Rather than taking that shortcut across the yard, pedestrian workers don’t want to set the proximity alarm off on a vehicle so they automatically give the vehicle a wide berth. This makes for a much safer work site as the pedestrian worker starts to automatically work safer as second nature, perhaps even becoming ‘zone safe’.
For further information about ZoneSafe, click here.