Don Hartle, HFHI US Safety Specialist, states, “A culture is a way of life. Businesses have their own cultures on how to operate. When you include the word ‘safety’ in the equation, it means you expect people to behave with ‘safety’ at the forefront.”
Similarly, OSHA says, “Safety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment. Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior.”
Without a strong safety culture in place, unsafe conditions go uncorrected, even unnoticed. Volunteers and workers don’t feel comfortable raising safety-related concerns. And ultimately the risk of serious injuries are increased.
Serious injuries have serious implications. Foremost, the injured person’s quality of life is often compromised due to a debilitating injury and significant financial strain. The affiliate also takes a hit. Managing an insurance claim of great proportion drains resources – both time and money – and affects the affiliate’s capacity to serve partner families. Insurance rates often increase and construction delays are prevalent.
In a strong safety culture, everyone feels responsible for safety and pursues it on a daily basis.
The benefits of creating a safety culture are far-reaching. OSHA has written extensively on creating a safety culture – for great information on the subject read OSHA’s fact sheet: “Creating a Safety Culture”. Additionally, our next enewsletter will provide additional resources to help you successfully implement (or build upon) a safety culture at your affiliate.
What’s your tip to successfully creating a safety culture? Share it here.
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