Six Tips to Help you Build a Positive Safety Culture


positive safety culture business, building, partnership, gesture and people concept - smiling builders and architects in hardhats with hands on top outdoorsBy Jennifer Miller, Curriculum Development Coordinator

What is Safety Culture?

Recently, the term “workplace culture” has become very trendy. More than just a buzzword, workplace culture refers to the way things are done at your workplace. Rather than referring to your company’s specific safety policy and program, the concept of safety culture is more encapsulated by the mind-sets, attitudes, and behaviours of workers, supervisors, managers, and owners. A positive safety culture in the workplace is absolutely vital to a successful and effective health and safety program.

You may find the idea of building or changing your safety culture daunting, because the way it is at your workplace has fallen into a pattern of complacency. The effects of complacency can be catastrophic: accidents, injuries, illnesses, even loss of life could result. Don’t allow this to happen in your workplace.

Use OSG’s six tips to begin establishing and maintaining a strong and positive safety culture in your workplace.

1. Communicate

A great way to increase safety communication while building a positive culture is to hold weekly or monthly safety talks. Increase worker buy-in by having them lead the talks. Make safety policies readily available electronically or on paper, and use your Intranet to communicate safe practices, expectations, and best practices when it comes to safety in your workplace. Better yet, share OSG Be Safe News with your staff to keep them in the know on the latest and safest news. Click here to subscribe!

2. Provide Training

Training employees demonstrates your commitment to safety. Trained employees also embrace safety culture more readily because they are aware of hazards and the effect that they can have on maintaining workplace safety. Review key messages from training sessions often to reinforce learning.

3. Create Management Buy-in

Lead by example by following all safety polices and encouraging employees to do the same. If management commits to safety, employees will follow suit.

4. Develop and Implement a Positive Reporting Process

Reward employees who report safety hazards or concerns. A positive safety culture will be much easier to build and maintain when employees feel comfortable reporting concerns, and believe that the reporting process is positive.

5. Involve Workers

Building and maintaining safety culture starts from the ground up. The fastest way to create employee buy-in is to involve them in the process. Ask them what they would like the reporting process to look like, or get their feedback on current communication methods.

6. Put your JHSC into Action 

Having a trained and active JHSC is a great way to show safety culture in action. It demonstrates a commitment between workers and managers to safe work and maintaining a positive safety culture.

Do You Need Help Getting Started?

Having an active JHSC is one of the best methods of instilling positive safety culture at work. OSG provides JHSC Part 1 and Part 2 training. Click here to see OSG’s course calendar for upcoming JHSC Part 1 and 2 Training offerings in your area.

If you have any questions about building, maintaining, or improving your workplace safety culture, or how the JHSC should be involved, call 1-800-815-9980 to speak to a Health and Safety expert today.

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