As the World Cup starts in Brazil, the world really does come together. Even if just for the sake of sports, learning a “new” game, or having a reason to scream in a pub at 5am. This morning I’m thinking about my safety friends outside of the United States. Often, photos from foreign countries are used in training, usually for a laugh. I do know that I have professional safety friends in my network, and I’m making it a point this year to reach out to them and expand my safety worldview.
Safety Culture is a term that is commonly misused. Some executives think that Safety Culture is something you can buy, a program a consultant can write for you at an hourly rate. This is one way to FAIL at having a real Safety Culture.
There is an accepted, normal, and collective Safety Culture that is desired by companies. There are certain things it seems everyone is after –
Top Management Commitment
Employee Empowerment (or Engagement or Involvement)
I know there are more, but others I could think of boil down to the three elements above.
Even if you are well-versed in Safety Culture, it’s elements, and all things safety – I encourage you to step back and evaluate your Corporate Culture. Look at your company as a whole. Identify what makes your company’s heart beat, mottos that are used by the most respected supervisors, a theme that pervades every corporate or site meeting. These are things that have been part of your company for YEARS. Your company already HAS a culture and you as the safety professional need to work with it. Identify how safety is already part of that culture, you’ll be surprised. If you are seeking a Safety Culture, this where you need to start. Inject safety into the already established standards at your company. Do not reinvent the wheel – it is just not necessary.
Your company’s cup is already full of what has been brewing for years – take a sip and stir in safety to enhance it. Then pass that cup around!