Undertaking health and safety training is all well and good however the hardest part comes afterwards. You need to ensure that what is learnt during the training is adhered to.
Training and awareness itself doesn’t necessarily develop into a safer working environment. While it can lay the foundations of a safe workplace, more has to be done to ensure that these safety procedures are followed over time.
This is why a culture of health and safety is so important. Promoting a safe environment is vital but how do you improve the safety culture in your workplace?
#1 Top Down Model
The example is set from the top of the ladder.
If the management team isn’t committed to a safe workplace and don’t follow health and safety procedures then why should the rest of the staff? The safest workplaces are those where managers set the example for the rest of the team.
If the senior members of an organisation don’t inspire confidence in safety or don’t promote the idea of a safe working environment then this will have a knock-on effect for everyone else. Health and safety has to start at the top for it to be taken seriously and followed by the rest of the workforce.
#2 Continually Review & Assess
Improving a safety culture in the workplace doesn’t end when you leave the training room.
Health and safety has to be continually reviewed and assessed throughout the whole workplace. This can mean updated training throughout the year, short refresher sessions on a regular basis and a persistent reminder of how to stay safe at work through meetings and informal chats.
Creating a culture takes time however it can quickly disappear if there is no continual supervision and assessment on an ongoing basis.
#3 Involve Everyone At Work
As management and those at a senior level at work need to set the example, discussions around health and safety has to be on collaborative terms.
Everyone in the workplace should be involved in the health and safety process and no-one should be ignored from the consultations. A lax safety environment can have a negative impact on every single employee and ignoring their concerns or not involving them in the process as a whole will breed a poor safety culture at work.
Safety works best when everyone is involved from the senior management to the new start on their first week.
Improving Your Safety Culture At Work
Creating a safe working environment is vital however improving on this and then sustaining it takes time and effort but is just as important.
It doesn’t happen overnight. Even though your team may have just undertaken rigorous health and safety training, if your workplace doesn’t have a positive and safe culture then they won’t apply this knowledge in their day to day jobs. This will result in unsafe working practices that potentially puts themselves and others at risk.
Do you know any other ways in which the safety culture in the workplace can be improved and sustained?
Let us know your thoughts!