Of course workplace safety is important to you. But how important is it to
your employees? If you don’t know, it may be time to evaluate the safety
culture at your business and think about what you can do to improve it.
What is a Safety Culture?
A safety culture is the shared beliefs, practices and mindsets that shape
behavior at an organization in a positive way.
A safety culture sets the standard for overall safety at your company. For
example, if the head chef at your restaurant carries knives blade-up while
walking through the kitchen, that tells the rest of the kitchen staff that
safe knife handling is not a priority and that they can carry a knife any
way they choose. This unsafe behavior is perpetuated by new employees who
think this is an acceptable thing to do.
But if the head chef is diligent about health and safety in the kitchen
(and always carries knives close to his or her side with the blade down),
that attitude will influence the rest of the staff and create a culture of
Why Should I Implement a Safety Culture?
According to OSHA, an established safety culture can reduce your injury and
illness costs by 20 to 40 percent. When it comes to the costs associated
with safety, consider these statistics from OSHA:
Employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’
compensation costs alone, which comes straight out of company profits.
Injuries and illnesses increase workers’ compensation and retraining
Lost productivity from injuries and illnesses costs companies roughly
$63 billion each year.
If you have high workers’ compensation costs or your premium increases
every year, analyzing the effectiveness
Your company’s safety culture is a direct reflection of the overall culture
of your company and employees of your company’s safety culture is a good
way to start controlling these costs.
How Can I Motivate My Employees to Care?
You can motivate your employees to care about safety by tying it directly
to compensation or incentives. Reward employees who err on the side of
safety over efficiency. But make sure you understand the difference between
reward and recognition—you don’t want employees doing something just
because they know they’ll get something tangible in return.
A strong safety culture with appropriate recognition and rewards will
inspire employees to look out for one another and point out unsafe
behaviors or situations. Everyone will feel responsible for safety and
pursue it on a daily basis by going beyond the “call of duty” to identify
unsafe conditions and behaviors, and to intervene to correct them.
Where Do I Start?
Your first step to promoting a safety culture is to contact
Robertson Insurance & Risk Management
today. We can provide you with the roadmap you need to get started and help
you along the way, with a portfolio of hand-picked resources to share with