The famous physicist, Steven Hawking, once said, “I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” I’m sure that Mr. Hawking would agree that workplace injuries, or injury prevention, are not predestined either. People often think safety is “common sense”; after all, no one wants to get hurt. But safety is manageable, and must be managed. It is a system just like any other element in business. Recognizing this, and understanding how to instill a positive safety culture within your organization, can be a very powerful tool in the prevention of workplace injuries.
Sometimes “the way we do things” is wrought with hazards or unsafe behaviors, and it takes courage to change these. In previous Safety Net posts we have described the Seven Steps to Stagnation; they are worth repeating, and eliminating, now:
1. We’ve never done it that way
2. We’re not ready for that
3. We’re doing all right without it
4. We tried that once before
5. It costs too much
6. That’s not our responsibility
7. It just won’t work
Creating a positive safety culture takes a combination of efforts by everyone within the organization. Establishing written safety policies and procedures, thorough and consistent safety training, adhering to compliance standards, establishing a job hazard analysis process, recognition and discipline policies, front line supervisor training and assigning safety responsibilities, and buy-in from top to bottom are all parts of a successful program.
Check out the resources available on the OSHA Safety Management Systems eTool page. MEMIC policyholders can also access the Safety Director for additional information. Get started with your safety culture improvement today. It is true—no one wants to get hurt. But wanting it doesn’t make it so.