Every heavy industrial or construction company you come across will likely say that worker safety is one of the most important pillars of their organization.
Minimizing incidents is a top priority, not only to keep employees healthy and safe, but also to reduce the costs associated with on-the-job injuries. But how many organizations really practice what they preach? Incorporating a safety curriculum into new hire training programs alone is not going to facilitate a safe working environment. To truly maximize safety on-the-job, every organization must establish a strong safety culture in the workplace.
What is a Safety Culture?
A safety culture is a company-wide mindset that revolves around putting safety first, always. It’s not a set of rules, or a work environment that is completely void of risk, rather it is an atmosphere that promotes and enforces safety best practices.
In workplaces with safety cultures, employees are encouraged to go above and beyond to identify unsafe working conditions and behaviors, and work to correct them. In general, safety cultures promote greater safety awareness and enforcement, which results in significantly fewer incident rates.
Benefits of a Safety Culture in the Workplace
According to OSHA, establishing a strong safety culture can have the single greatest impact on the reduction of incidents. Specifically, a safety culture in the workplace can:
- Minimize risky employee behaviors
- Decrease absenteeism and turnover
- Improve worker productivity
- Improve the health and well-being of employees
- Decrease workers comp payouts
- Save lives!
Changing a company’s culture is not an easy feat, and it takes a long time. Just like any other major corporate change, implementing a safety culture should start at the top—without buy-in and enthusiastic participation from leadership, any initiatives for change will fall flat. With the executive team on board, the next step is to clearly establish key policies, goals, and a system for accountability—and then clearly communicate any changes to the entire team.
Once implementation, training and enforcement are under way, it’s critical for you continually measure performance, communicate results and celebrate positive outcomes as a team. It’s a complex process, but one that will undoubtedly change the culture of your business for the better.
U.S. Standard Products strongly advocates for safety cultures in the workplace, and provides a wide range of safety products to help you and your team stay protected on the job. For more tips on safety in the workplace, follow U.S. Standard Products on social media: