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The Important Relationship between Safety Culture and Senior Management

August 04, 2015 by Eric Schmitz

The Important Relationship between Safety Culture and Senior Management

Safety culture includes more than just the individuals on the shop floor; for true success it is necessary to implement a positive safety culture company-wide, starting with senior management.

Studies have shown that the success of a safety culture is often linked to the senior management team’s involvement. When upper-management, CEOs, and owners are regularly involved, the safety culture takes on a higher-level of importance company-wide and the success rate rises.

The difficult part of this concept is to discover how to engage senior management with the safety culture. To stay engaged with safety culture as a manager, consider the following:

1. Joining safety culture meetings.

The attendance of senior management at a safety culture meeting indicates that the topic is important for all employees in attendance. Not only should senior management attend the safety meetings, they should also take an active role in each meeting and engage in the conversation. Of course, management may not always be able to attend meetings; in this case ensure that notes are available for review.

2. Discuss the relationship between safety and profitability.

Research has shown that safety improves the bottom line. Why? Because it reduces the risk of fines and workers’ compensation rate hikes. By discussing the relationship between safety and revenue in safety culture meetings, safety will get a larger focus.

3. Demonstrate positive safety culture practices.

Employees follow the lead of their managers, so it is very important to lead by example and follow all of the same protocol as your employees. As mentioned above, senior management should be attending safety culture meetings and should follow all of the rules and protocol delineated in these meetings. Senior management should stay involved with inspections, should follow up on them, and should demonstrate the value of a strong safety culture daily.

Safety culture is rooted in collaboration from the entire company. To create a strong a positive safety culture, the place to start is with senior management. Do you have questions about implementing or strengthening safety culture? Contact [email protected].

Posted in: Environmental Health and Safety Tags: best practice, safety culture, safety meetings, senior management