8th July 2019
I often have discussions with colleagues, clients, and potential clients around safety in their organization. Often they will say they have a good safety program, or culture. When I hear this, one question that goes through my mind, is how do they know?
What is it within your organization that indicates you are doing things that help to reduce risk, and keep workers safe?
I find that there is often a variation of some or all of these themes to explain why the organization has good safety:
The examples cited above tend to lean on lagging indicators, or have little evidence of good safety. Lagging indicators are indicators that tell you how your safety is doing, only after an occurrence that could have or did lead to harm or loss.
The above explanations do not in themselves indicate that you have a good safety program, or safety culture. You might be incredibly lucky and have lots of poor practices, but no injuries.
You might be a really low risk work environment where people get hurt regularly. If the injuries aren’t reported it makes you look good, while preventing you from understanding the frequency and nature of the injuries.
So how can an organization gather evidence that there is good safety in their workplace? Many companies I’ve spoken to can explain how and why they feel they have a good safety program, or culture. They often explain:
While this is not an exhaustive list, there are good examples of how an organization can use a preventive approach to identify what’s working well in the organization and what might need improvement.
In a high risk environment, or if the above means aren’t effectively executed, workplaces can still be unsafe or may not have as strong a safety culture as expected. Yet these workplaces may still have few or no significant injuries or events, the important thing is being able to understand what level of safety your organization is at, and why, and where it can be improved.
Effective hazard identification and management is fundamental starting point to both an effective safety program, and good safety culture. Use our Hazard Snap Assessment to get a feel for how well your organization manages workplace hazards. Submit it for a free consultation to answer questions on where you may have areas of improvement.
Posted in: Safety Blog