Training Snippets Blog

Training Snippets' Workplace Health and Safety Blog, providing advice on OHS, WHS, OHSE issues, innovations, and engaging safety training videos.

Safety culture starts at the top!

Helen Bitmead - Thursday, October 06, 2016

For over 25 years we have worked for, and collaborated with, a huge variety of companies across a wide range of industries, assisting them in making safety, induction and training videos. 


Whether the organisations are small, medium or large, as outsiders we get to see the workings of one of the key arterials that lead to the heart of any organisation – its culture. In fact, I have always been amazed at how quickly we can tune in to the culture of a company. It is demonstrated in so many ways, from small courtesies among staff to giving employees a meaningful voice in procedural and company direction.


One key area that can be affected by culture, either positively or negatively, is safety. We all know that it is crucial and expected these days that companies have a good safety regime in place. There are a lot of boxes to tick: the responsibility to keep your staff safe, audits, compliance… even as a business case, safety is a selling point in attracting new clients.

Safety culture starts at the top 

Over the years, it’s become evident to me that the right attitude to safety has to come from the top - the heads of companies setting the tone, leading by example, getting amongst it and listening to their employees. If this is in place, then a positive safety culture will cascade through an organisation as a matter or course.

No doubt, many of the companies we have worked with have that culture in place in varying degrees – why would we be there filming a safety video if they didn't? It’s all well and good to provide safety training for workers at the ‘coalface’, and indeed at all levels, but what organisations need to reflect on is whether this is being implemented to appease the external forces like the WorkSafes of the world, or is there a genuine culture of safety trickling down from the top? 

I would suggest that if it comes from the top tier of management, then there is yet another safety layer (at little cost) that supports and looks after their workers’ safety as well as their morale. 

Cheers,

Helen Bitmead
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