Putting a Health and Safety culture into practice


In my previous two posts I wrote about the Health and Safety culture of a company and why employees might not by into the Health and safety culture but it does not help that we only look at it, we need to do something about it.

Putting it into practice

This is not an easy or quick task. Changing peoples fears, habits and view points take time and patience.

It can start by management having a serious look at themselves, at the culture and example they are setting for their subordinates. Are they leaders who lead by fear or a negative example? How do they value the safety of their employees? It might be a company where the culture is to just carry on, to work like a man and not like a wimp that’s scared of being injured. Do they see their employees as money wasters for wanting to work safe?

It might also be the total opposite. The management and leaders might be the once that’s trying hard to implement Health and Safety and a positive culture in the workplace. The workers might be the problem.

How do the workers value risks and working safely? How do they view management? Management might not be supported by the workforce of the company. I admit, I have worked for a company where I had no respect for my superiors and their viewpoints and that caused me to be stubborn and unsupportive. It created a very negative and unpleasant atmosphere. My work experience only improved when I decided to change my mindset and attitude and I have found that that is one of the keys of changing a companies Health and Safety culture.

A company needs to change it’s mindset and attitude. Yes a company is not a person but it is made up of people with mindsets and attitude and that in itself creates the company’s mindset and attitude. The atmosphere in the workplace should be a positive and lively one, immaterial of the type of industry that it’s in. Management should lead by a positive example, they should create trust within the workplace. workers should have the confidence to man-up to their mistakes and to know that they will not be embarrassed by their superiors or that they will be seen as wimps for wanting to do the work safely.

Workers should be supportive of their superiors and not see them as the enforces of systems and procedures. They should not view them the “people” who is on their backs looking for faults.

It is not easy and quick but it is doable. Mindsets, attitudes and viewpoints need to change. It must be done one step at a time. One positive change will influence the creation of another positive change and so it continues. I have seen both sides of the coin, the negative and the positive culture within companies and I can assure you that the positive one is the better one.

Please contact me at raymond@safetyfile.co.za or on 083 304 1680 if you need assistance with the culture of your companies Health and Safety