Exercising Safety Leadership and Promoting a Safety Culture

Company X is an organization that have been experiencing insufficient product lines. Multiple workers are continuously being severely injured. The company records revealed their injuries are so serious they atleast miss one day of work. The cost of lost time injuries impacts the company directly and indirectly. In order for the company to gain maximum production, achieving zero injuries should be the company’s only goal. Accidents is defined as a undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually result in harm, injury, damage or lost, casualty, mishap.

Achieving zero injuries may sound impossible to your staff especially if records have shown over thousands of injuries occurring throughout the year. As a CEO, exercising safety leadership and promoting a safety culture is extremely crucial when discussing with employees. One must reassure employees that their safety is more important than efficient production of the company. In order to achieve safety leadership within a company, the CEO must engage in, field presence, effective communication, feedback, accountability, and bench-marking.

The size of the company determines how the information is passed down to all levels of employees. Company X being a large company, it is important that the CEO work along side managerial and directing level persons to delegate health and safety strategies and tasks to improve safety in the workplace. Leadership is not about giving order and getting responses, it is much more than that. The CEO must take its time to researching the most effective techniques in eliminating workplace injuries.

In 1993 there was an original case study done with construction industry institute to determine techniques to achieve zero injuries.

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The result of the findings revealed five high impact zero injury techniques which include, pre-project/ pre-task planning for safety, safety orientation and training, written safety incentive programs, alcohol and substance abuse programs and accident/incident investigations. Between 1993 and 1999 there were a reduction in lost work case performance. In 1999 this project was revisted naming it “Making zero accidents a reality”. They surveyed 400 construction firms with 102 responses, also, detailed interviews were done on 38 projects from different types of industries such as, petrochemical, industrial, public works, transportation, hotel casino and commercial buildings.

After conducting this study there were now nine techniques in zeroing injuries, which include, demonstrated management commitment, staffing for safety, safety planning, safety training and education, worker participation and involvement, subcontractor management, recognition and rewards, accident/ incident reporting and investigation and lastly drug and alcohol testing. By introducing these nine practices, it will help the company achieve zero injuries and positively change the safety culture of the company. The safety culture of a company is the product of an individual and group values, attitudes perceptions, competencies and pattern of behaviour that determine the commitment to and the style and proficiency of an organisation health and safety management. By changing the norm of a company both the CEO and employees will have to work cohesively to successfully implement the new practices.

The contribution that change people behaviours and attitudes in relation to workplace health and safety solely depends on understanding what influence the culture of the company. To successfully promote safety culture, it needs to be led by the CEO and senior managers. Communicating the company values, demonstrating leadership, clarifying requirements and expected behaviours, personalising safety outcomes, developing a positive safety attitude, engaging and owning safety responsibilities and accountabilities, increasing hazard/ risk awareness and preventative behaviours, improving, understanding and effectively implementing of safety management systems and monitoring, reviewing and reflecting on personal effectiveness are the cultural action taken in developing a positive safety culture.

Before trying to implement new strategies, the present safety culture needs to be carefully analysed in all departments of the establishment. According to The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), a safety climate survey can be used to assess factors within the organisation to determine exactly which factors need to be improved. The factors assessed in this survey are; the degree of leadership and commitment established by managers, how much workers are knowledgeable and effectively communicate health and safety (example, safety training), the levels of organisation involved in the health and safety improvement process, the extent in which employees take responsibility for health and safety, the tolerance of risk-taking behaviour, measuring health and safety performance, and how often the system is reviewed. Besides this survey, a questionnaire can also be used alongside with observations of behaviours and data gathered from internal groups. The opinion of workers also plays a significant asset when evaluating safety culture since they are closest to several hazards.

In promoting safety culture, there is a five-level safety culture maturity system taken. This system has an objection of removing weaknesses from previous level and building on strengths. The model includes five levels starting with emerging, managing, involving, co-operating and continually improving. Emerging, safety is mostly technical and procedural solution and the compliance with regulations. Most frontline staff are unconcerned about safety and safety is only used during arguments as a lever for other issues. Strengthening the management commitment will help encourage other employees towards involving safety in everything they do. Managing, this is about realising the importance of frontline staff and developing personal responsibilities. Managers believe that accidents mainly occur because of unsafe acts from frontline staff. Introduction of incentives and more managerial leadership will help improve managing.

Involving, accident rates will lessen but plateau. More employee participation is required, therefore frontline employees are encouraged to work with managerial staff to prevent accidents from occurring. Co-operating at this level, frontline staff and managerial staff recognize the importance of health and safety in the workplace. Investigation skills of accidents are improved and root causes are exposed. Employees are valued, a healthy lifestyle is promoted and accidents are continually monitored. Continually Improving, developing consistency and fighting competency. The establishment uses a range of indicators to measure health and safety performance. Employees participation between frontline and managerial staff need to be continuous. The organization strives to be better and find better hazard control approaches.

As being the CEO of company X, the main value is based on achieving zero injuries in the workplace. Clarifying the company vision and focus should be effectively communicated throughout the company. These messages can be embedding in the company’s health and safety policies, safety walkaround, safety signs and also enforcing safety by non-safety persons working in the company. Employees should include safety in their everyday work activities and should not be considered as an extra task. The CEO and manager position employees should exercise the safety values of the company, they must act as leaders encouraging their staff to follow their example. Teaching the company values, can successfully be done through orientation training program which can bring awareness in the attitudes and behaviours required by employees. Also, incentives are used to motivate worked who practise and recognize the company values. The CEO must demonstrate leadership skill in order to continuously motivate workers to accomplish the company goal.

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Exercising Safety Leadership and Promoting a Safety Culture. (2022, Dec 11). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/exercising-safety-leadership-and-promoting-a-safety-culture/

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