The safety culture of your business will directly impact on safety performance.
If you want to protect your business from the many perils of poor safety performance, such as lost productivity, accidents and injuries, prosecution and fines, reputation damage, high staff turn-over, and poor team morale, then working on your safety culture is key...
What is a Safety Culture?
Safety Culture is the way safety is perceived, valued and prioritised in your organisation. It reflects the real commitment to safety at all levels of the business. At the core of a safety culture is what people believe about the importance of safety, including what they think their colleagues, managers and leaders really believe about safety’s priority.
Note that your company's safety culture is not the safety management systems, policies or procedures you have; it goes much deeper than that. Without a positive safety culture, these things become dust-gathering paperwork.
Why is it Important to You?
In short, the safety culture of your business will directly impact on safety performance. A negative (immature) culture is likely to yield poor safety performance, whereas a positive (mature) culture will result in high performance.
What is Safety Culture Maturity?
The safety culture of a company is not static; it changes and evolves. Ideally this change is positive and the culture develops to achieve maturity. Safety professionals around the world have developed various models, matrixes and indexes to illustrate just this.
Maturity is a term commonly used to describe the progressive nature of safety culture. Here is my take on it:
How can I motivate staff to improve their performance?
Research indicates that positive reinforcement is critical to successfully improving safety performance.
Health and Safety policies are commonly built around rules, regulations, and legislation. Consequently, process often focus on enforcement. Although compliance systems have their place in safety procedures, positive reinforcement is a far more effective tool when it comes to motivating people.
A commercial and residential flooring company has been fined $33,125 and ordered to pay reparations totalling $24,482.88 after an employee was left with serious burns in an incident involving the ignition of flammable solvent adhesive while installing vinyl flooring.
Hamilton Flooring Limited pleaded guilty to one charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court.
The family of a Taiwanese tourist who drowned on a recreational SCUBA dive at Hahei in November 2014 will receive $70,000 in reparations.
Waikato diving operator, Cathedral Cove Dive Limited (CCDL) and its director Russell Cochrane had earlier pleaded guilty to three charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE) for failing to keep the victim safe. A reserved sentencing decision was released by the Hamilton District Court today. No fine was imposed.
On 4 November 2014, the victim was left to swim unsupervised while wearing scuba equipment selected by Cochrane- she swam out of the enclosed bay where the dive was taking place, exhausted her air supply and was later found hours later floating face down in the water.
The importance of systematic maintenance and proper fault management of machinery in workplaces has been highlighted today at the sentencing of the Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure its employees’ safety.
WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Keith Stewart said after the sentencing that companies using any machinery in their work must ensure the machinery is maintained according to manufacturers’ instructions and must have an effective system in place to identify faults.
“If faults are found, they must be documented, the machine taken out of service for assessment and workers advised of the faults and whether or not the machinery can be used,” he said.
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