A safety culture can have a significant impact on the operations of an organization, either positive or negative, depending on the shared values, practices and attitudes about safety. A positive safety culture places a high level of importance on safety.
Putting initiatives in place that encourage everyone in the organization to become a safety advocate can reduce injuries, lower absenteeism and costs related to those injuries, increase productivity and morale, and help maintain a positive organizational reputation.
Building a positive safety culture takes time. Focusing on creating an organizational commitment to safety, opening channels of communication and creating a solid base of safety literacy are steps to achieving that goal.
Handbook Provides Guide to Positive Safety Culture
MCIT understands the challenge of taking on a new initiative. Many members may wonder where they should start on such an ambitious endeavor. Recognizing this, MCIT has developed the handbook “Safety Culture: Techniques for Building Positive Organizational Change.” It will be available later this month for members to download at no cost.
This publication is broken into three concept areas that contribute to creating and supporting a positive safety culture.
- Foundational elements: These are important to building a positive safety culture. The pre-assessment helps identify policies, procedures and measures already in place. With this information, leadership can focus on those areas that could use more attention. The handbook focuses on strategies to create an organizationwide, visible commitment to safety, opening avenues of communication and bolstering safety programs. Without these foundational elements, it will be more difficult for other initiatives to find a solid footing upon which to build.
- Pillars of safety: These reflect key components of the Minnesota AWAIR (an accident and injury reduction) program and provide tangible ideas to help reduce injury, often with the collaboration of employees. Even if the foundational elements are not fully in place, the ideas and programs in these chapters still help to reduce incidents and injuries.
- Specific tools: The safety committee, those in charge of safety and even supervisors and department heads can use these tools to increase awareness, bolster commitment and encourage communication regarding safety.
Each chapter includes a “Going Further” section, which provides ways to incorporate other topics from the publication to enhance the use of that chapter’s safety culture concept.
MCIT loss control consultants are available to discuss how an organization can build, support and bolster a positive safety culture. Consultants can be reached at 1.866.547.6516.