OSHA Tip Tuesday- Six Steps to Promoting a Safety Culture

                              Safety Managers are charged with the somewhat vague and sometimes daunting task of “promoting a safety culture” in the workplace. But how does one achieve that? How can it be measured? I have included six steps below to provide some guidance. 1.       Hold safety meetings more frequently. Make sure that safety is at the top of everyone’s mind. It is not going to stay there unless you make it so.2.       Make safety meetings FUN. Add plenty of videos, pictures and anecdotes to your trainings. Don’t have a real-life anecdote of your own that is relevant to your training? Find a third-party speaker who does. Get attendees involved, don’t talk at them, start a conversation. Ask questions, and get them asking questions too. When all else fails, I have always found that meetings that provide snacks are the best attended.3.       Measure how well your safety trainings are doing. Find out if your employees are retaining the material by administering short quizzes, then refine your trainings based on the results.4.       Make sure your safety committee is engaged. You need an active committee who listens and collaborates well to help ensure safety really is the #1 priority, and that “safety first” are not just empty words.5.       Encourage open feedback from employees regarding the safety program. Give them the opportunity to bring new ideas to the table. Getting employees engaged in shaping the safety program will make them more likely to want to be involved and ultimately follow safety policies.6.       Get and retain management buy-in. Listen to what the reservations may be and address them head-on. Then show the ROI of your safety programs; demonstrate where you’ve eliminated a safety issue at the root cause so that it does not return, saving time and money.  Prepare a monthly report for management so they have the pulse of the safety program. Make sure it is concise and complete. In some cases getting a third party consultant to review programs and present to management is helpful.By following the steps above, you will increase safety awareness among your staff and be able to prove the benefits of your safety program to your management team. Once everyone is involved in the safety conversation, you can truly say that you have a culture that promotes safety.