Martin Technical, Inc., a leading subject matter expert in providing industrial plants and facilities with simplified safety solutions and consulting services, will be exhibiting at the ASSP Safety 2022 Conference June 27-29, 2022, in Chicago, IL. Industry experts will be present to educate facility professionals on how Martin Technical can make hazardous situations safer by applying solutions for training, electrical maintenance, inspections, lockout tagout, confined space, and OSHA services.
Martin Technical will be highlighting the latest, most comprehensive, and practical safety training offerings including blended learning training, virtual reality training, and strategies to guide organizations in building the most robust training program.
Safety culture is the way safety is perceived, valued, prioritized, and integrated into all activities in the workplace. Rather than referring to the company’s safety policy and program, it is a set of core values and behaviors that prioritize safety. Safety culture encapsulates the mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors of workers, supervisors, managers, and owners toward safety in the workplace.
Benefits of building a Positive Safety Culture
Having a positive safety culture within an organization promotes more than safety. It is vital for a successful and effective health and safety program. According to OSHA, developing a strong safety culture has a significant impact on the accident reduction of any process.
Additionally, a positive safety culture helps strengthen worker confidence and retention, organizational behavior, and even productivity.
Core Elements of Building a Positive Safety Culture
While qualities may differ from organization to organization, companies with a strong safety culture share several characteristics, including:
Management Leadership – Senior leaders demonstrate their commitment to continuous safety and health improvement, communicate that commitment to workers, and set program expectations and responsibilities. Managers shall make safety and health a core organizational value, establish safety and health goals and objectives, provide adequate resources and support for the program, and set a good example. Often, a shift in safety culture is unsuccessful because there is without top-down support. The change is temporary and ends by slipping back into old patterns, or there is no change.
Worker Participationand Ownership – Workers are committed to continuously identifying safety hazards and improving the work environment for the better. Once the employees understand safety standards, they can help with establishing, operating, evaluating, and improving the safety and health program. Team participation can be taken a step further by improving safety dialogue between workers and management and showing workers how to help keep each other safe. Organizations should empower employees to improve safety in their work area and throughout the facility.
Hazard Identification, Assessment, Prevention, and Control – Involve workers who often have the best understanding of the conditions that create hazards and insights into how to control them. Identify and evaluate options for preventing and controlling hazards, and develop plans to protect workers during emergencies. After assessing existing hazards, exposures, and control measures, periodic inspections and reassessments shall follow to identify the root causes and new hazards. A plan should also be developed to ensure that controls are implemented, interim protection is provided, progress is tracked, and the effectiveness of controls is verified. Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular hazard assessments includinghazards of arc flash, lockout tagout, and electrical safety.
Safety Procedures and Equipment – Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or material that concerns them. Other good practices include posting signs around the facility indicating different safety procedures, regular communication on safety tips, and announcements on new safety procedures.
Education and Training – Providing ample opportunities for employees to access safety resources, including signage, safety stickers, regular safety meetings, and safety training, is essential in creating a safe work environment. All workers should be trained to recognize workplace hazards and understand the control measures implemented.
Consider developing training programs with the help of industry subject matter experts that offer blended and interactive training solutions. Ideally, a comprehensive training program should include a good mix of on-site training, hands-on validation, online learning, webinars, toolbox talks, and virtual reality coursesin multiple languages for easy access.
Maintaining the Safety Culture by Continuous Evaluation and Improvement
Creating a positive workplace safety culture goes a long way towards changing the mindset, and the actions, of both workers and management. Often, organizations recognize the need to change the workplace safety culture in response to a culture that’s become complacent. The effects of complacency can be catastrophic in causing accidents, injuries, illnesses, costly fines, and even loss of life.
Continuous processes shall be established to monitor safety program performance, verify program implementation, and identify the shortcomings and opportunities for improvement.
A positive safety culture will be easier to build and maintain when employees feel comfortable reporting concerns and believe that the reporting process is positive. Keeping team members motivated and updated about the improvement is essential to maintaining a positive safety culture. Recognizing individuals and departments for improvements can effectively keep team members excited and invested in building a positive safety culture.