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Guide: Establish Best-in-Class Safety Culture

A great deal of research has been done in workplace safety, psychology, and cultures. There is even more information and philosophies in Safety Cultures and how to establish a great Safety Culture and how to improve a Safety Culture.


All of that research and information is without a doubt extremely important however, it can be overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to understand how to take this information and implement it into your own organization to develop a Best-in-Class Safety Culture you desire.


The bottom-line is, don’t over complicate it and keep it simple.


This guide will help you keep it simple and get started today on establishing a Best-in-Class Safety Culture or to Level-Up your current Safety Culture.


The first concept we need to all be on the same page with to make this effective is to understand the overall big picture take-a-way of what a Best-in-Class Safety Culture looks like. If you can understand why it is important and what a Best-in-Class Safety Culture looks like…we can focus on the keys to implement it and achieve the results you desire.


Take a look at the visual model of a Best-in-Class Safety Culture. If we all agree that “why it is important”, going from the left hand side to the right hand side of the curve, reduces injuries and supports a good and safe workplace AND that a Best-in-Class Safety Culture, on the far right hand side of the curve, is one where everyone within the organization is involved and we are working as a team, we have the right foundation and a great launching point to focus on keeping this simple.


Safety Culture
Safety Culture

So the GOAL is to get everyone involved in safety, have everyone care about safety, and to take a team approach on safety.


Let’s keep it simple…our years of experience establishing and improving safety cultures across many different industries for many companies we have boiled it down to 3 Keys: Expectations, Communications, and Accountability.


Business Leaders, Operations, Managers, Supervisors…does this sound familiar to business and operations? Same applies here BUT, the approach and consistency will be the difference to underperforming, performing, or over-performing Safety Cultures…which do you want to be?


To have an over-performing Best-in-Class Safety Culture your approach in the 3 Keys are critical.


Keep it simple by implementing your approach through 1 proven highly effective Safety Committee Program.


We establish all of our Safety Committee Programs in 2 Tiers: a Safety Leadership and Steering Committee and a Safety Management and Action Committee.


Below is a visual of the Organizational Chart of the committees to include the typical members for each committee and their roles and responsibilities.


Safety Committee
Safety Committee

By establishing this type of Safety Committee Program, we are setting the foundation for the 3 Keys: Expectations, Communications, and ultimately we are creating a system where everyone begins to hold themselves Accountable. One sneaky effect of this structure, that is one of the fundamental elements of a Best-in-Class Safety Culture, is that it is creating and supporting employee engagement and involvement where everyone is involved in safety and doing safety and is responsible for safety.


You may be starting to see the approach and understand the approach.


The approach is to establish a Safety Leadership and Steering Committee who together identify the direction, the goals, strategy, and expectations of the safety program. The key is that this group will need to actually write things down and establish clear goals and expectations. How many safety inspections will be completed and how frequently and by who? How many safety audits will be completed and how frequently? How a many Toolbox Talks will be completed, by who, and how frequently? What percent complete of Training is expected? Etc. Set Goals and then set expectations to achieve those goals…these should be “things you do for safety”. Now that a simple list of Goals and Expectations have been defined together as a group, you can roll them down hill to the Safety Management and Action Committee.


The Safety Management and Action Committee is a team by location, work group, business line, or other that receives the Goals and Expectations and has the ability to determine as a group how they will implement those expectations. This is the group that gets safety done. They don’t have to personally go and do it but they have the ability and responsibility to get with those and involve those who will go and do safety. Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility and everyone is involved with safety so they should support and enable this approach. This group also discusses issues concerns and flows this information back up to the higher level along with the report out of what was done over the last 30 days.


For both committees it is key that Meeting Agendas are developed ahead of time and Meeting Meetings are completed and sent and shared up and down and across the organization. Action Items should be created, assigned, and tracked to closure with realistic due dates.


This is where the rubber really starts to meet the road through holding ourselves accountable. This process allows everyone to take on their own action items, determine when and how they will complete those actions, and communicates them up, down, and across the organization creating level of accountability to complete action items.


By now I hope that clarity is coming in around this but want to bring it back to keeping it simple because it really is.


Get employees involved and everyone doing safety. Do this by establishing a Safety Committee Program. Within this Safety Committee Program focus on Expectations, Communications, and Accountability. Do this with the approach of involving everyone, providing transparency across the entire organization, and supporting and enabling everyone to be responsible for safety. Commit to doing it and do it constantly and you will establish a Best-in-Class Safety Culture or take your current Safety Culture to the next level.


If you are serious about this or would like support, our Safety Culture and Committee Program service works extremely well with immediate results. We do this every day for many business and industries, is our bread and butter, and we are extremely effective an establish and improving Safety Cultures. If you would like to learn more or we can help in any way, please contact us info@progressivesafety.com

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