Health and Safety culture

Is Health and Safety a culture or an enforcement?

Culture can be defined as an evolving set of collective beliefs, values and attitudes, but where does these believes and values come from? Some of them has come come a long way with us, influenced by our parents and the upbringing that they gave us, some come from habits and a way of doing things that we developed ourselves over the years. Immaterial of where they come from they are a part of who we are and how we go about our day to day tasks.

We all have our own personal and family culture but then we also have a business culture. Our business culture is partially developed by our past experiences and partially by the culture of the company where we are employed.

So how is Health and Safety seen in your workplace?

The biggest influence in the Health and safety culture is top management. If they don’t have a full buy-in then nobody will and they can’t expect them to have either. When management sees Health and Safety as a grudge purchase the negative view will flow down to all levels within the company. If management sees Health and Safety as a protection mechanism for their employees, equipment and business their attitudes will change and it will and have a positive influence on their subordinates.

Even though management might see Health and Safety in a positive light the employees might not. It comes down to the way that the Health and safety culture is developed, established and grown. It should form part of the company’s safety Management System.

So why does employees not buy into the companies Health and safety culture?

Lets have a look at that in our next article