Building a Safety Culture at Work

safety-cultureWe’ve come a long way since the days of massive factory fires and fatal falls, yet somehow the number of slips and falls in particular has been steadily climbing over the past decade. It is undeniable that manufacturing in North America has done much to improve the state of affairs and rate of injury, however certain types of injuries somehow still prevail. Why is that? Is it time to start building a safety culture at work?

We all focus on creating stringent safety policies to ensure that we prepare our workforces for every possible situation. Employers are spending millions of dollars on expensive safety equipment to ensure their employees are ready to perform in a safe manner. These efforts are commendable, as they have made a serious impact on key figures such as on the job mortality rates. However in a recent 12-year study, despite declining catastrophic injuries one organization saw an increase in injuries from events such as slips, trips and falls.

The famous saying “if you build it they will come” has never been truer in safety. The flat lining of our safety efforts has far less to do with policy development or expensive equipment and more to do with culture. In order for even the best policies to work as intended, they need to be embraced by those whom they were written for on a consistent and regular basis.

These critical policies and procedures must almost become second nature and always top of mind for everyone. Most companies will train an employee on key safety principles when they are hired and leave a copy of said policy binder in the break room or a common area for independent review and study, the problem is that the latter rarely happens, things get forgotten and in the end, people get hurt.

With challenging work conditions and tight budgets, it’s unfeasible to pull out workers from their duties to constantly retrain or remind them of safety procedures. What if there was a way to deliver training with minimal impact on productivity and an actual way of demonstrating a cultural shift?

A few weeks ago we introduced a knowledge series whitepaper discussing and explaining just this. Feel free to explore it and let us know your thoughts.

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