A company's culture is most clearly defined by the attitudes, values and behaviours which are shared among the employees. "That's the way we do it around here" is a common phrase used in most workplaces, thus reflecting the company culture.
The term Safety Culture can be traced directly back to the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Since then, numerous definitions of safety culture have been used in safety literature, by safety professionals and during presentations on this topic.Nonetheless, there does appear to be several commonalities among the definitions I've listed below, regardless of the style or type of workplace being considered.
1. Safety culture emphasizes the contribution from everyone at every level of an organization.
2. Safety culture is a concept defined at the group level or higher, which refers to the shared values among all the group or organization members.
3. The safety culture of an organization has an impact on its members' behaviour at work.
4. Safety culture is reflected in an organization's willingness to develop and learn from errors, incidents, and accidents.
Of these definitions, #1 is the approach I bring to the organizations I have partnered with, as the only way to influence a Safety Culture is to have a contribution from everyone at every level.
Safety Culture Presentation
This presentation started in 1999 and has evolved along with my changing thoughts and ideas on this topic. In addition to being used in the Safety Launch, I have given this presentation at numerous Health and Safety Conferences.
This interactive presentation starts with a music quiz and then gallops through myths about health & safety. The main theme will be on discussing factors that contribute to a work place culture that effectively focuses on Safety. In addition, the concept of having Seriously Fun Safety is a key component of this presentation. (Thanks Jane)
Although my number one myth is that, Safety is Zero Injuries, I do believe very strongly in a Zero Based Culture, which means we know how to get out in front of a problem and that we revisit basic, routine, everyday behaviours, some that have persisted over several years based on "that's the way we do it around here" philosophy. We may have to concede that accidents will happen in spite of our best efforts, but we can't let that dampen our resolve to do everything we can to prevent them. A vision of zero injuries is the first step in the right direction. If we work hard to achieve that vision, then injuries will happen less frequently, and they will be less serious.