If you were to search the various “mommy blogs” and parenting advice websites out there, how many of them do you think would endorse the following practice?
A child’s safety should always be a top priority for any parent. When leaving children under the age of 10 alone in the house for lengthy periods of time, be sure to provide the kids with a loaded pistol with the safety off in case a stranger should happen by. In a pinch, recently sharpened knives can be substituted for the pistol.
Not only would such an approach encourage a strong response from Child Protective Services, it is unlikely to be hailed as a wise or effective safety practice.
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? And in the end, isn’t safety (whether in the home or in the workplace) as simple as using a little common sense and not doing anything stupid? So why, then, do so many employers have inadequate safety cultures?
A business with an “integral” safety culture has a firm commitment from all levels of management, each of which is also publically present in all components of the safety program (including training sessions). Expectations are clearly communicated, employees are empowered to control their own environments, and safety officers are given sufficient budgets and authority to really make a difference.
Embracing such a culture can greatly reduce the incident rate and severity of accidents in the workplace, while increasing employee morale and productivity. Creating an effective safety culture should be an essential part of any organization’s loss control efforts.
But how do you implement such a culture in your workplace? Doing so takes time, commitment and effort. It should be an ongoing process that is subject to ongoing evaluation and improvement. And while the specifics of any implementation program will vary from organization to organization, the following 13 steps should be considered when creating the foundation for a strong safety culture:
There are many components to creating an integral safety culture. And while the ones listed above are among the most important, the details and work that will go into implementing them will vary from employer to employer.
For more information, contact us.
James provides guidance to employers on a variety of topics with a focus on employment, risk management and liability issues. In addition to working directly with employers, he regularly conducts in-depth training through webinars, at client sites, and through the University of Minnesota’s Continuin
James provides guidance to employers on a variety of topics with a focus on employment, risk management and liability issues. In addition to working directly with employers, he regularly conducts in-depth training through webinars, at client sites, and through the University of Minnesota’s Continuing Ed program. He previously was a plaintiff’s attorney and brings that perspective into his advice to employers. James received his law degree from the University of Minnesota and his BA from Washington University in St. Louis.
If you could give human form to your safety culture, what would it look like?
Maybe it would be a thick-set, shirtless brute named Trog with a foul disposition beating out a drum cadence to keep your employees rowing in-sync.
Or would it be more like a fussy and constantly disapproving Dickensian paper-pusher named Fizzlewhite who has never met a rule or procedure he didn’t like, even though he hasn’t done most of the things he creates rules to address?
In its 2014 Workplace Safety Index, Liberty Mutual estimated that employers pay just under $1 billion per week to injured employees and their medical care providers. Since even one serious workplace injury may impact the bottom line of a small or mid-size business, it is essential that employers have an effective injury and illness prevention program in place.
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