What Is a Safety Culture?
By Phil Polsom, CLAC Training/Regional Director, Saskatchewan
What is a safety culture and whose responsibility is it?
Safety culture is the attitude, beliefs, perceptions, and values that employees and employers share about safety in the workplace. It is a commitment from individuals and the group that safety is integral to the workplace and is everyone’s responsibility.
For any safety program to be successful, we have to start with defining whose responsibility safety is. Is it management’s responsibility? Is it your foreperson’s? Is it yours? Too often we believe that responsibility for safety is someone else’s job. Have you ever seen an unsafe situation at work and continued walking because it was not your “job?” Have you ever seen someone working in an unsafe manner and thought that it is someone else’s job to correct them?
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Work sites with the best safety records have a safety culture that is based on a commitment from everyone that they will work safely and will correct and report safety issues immediately. When we see something that is not safe, we all have a responsibility to correct the situation before someone gets hurt. Get involved in your workplace. Join your OH&S committee. Provide suggestions and ideas for improving safety at toolbox or safety meetings.
Your safety is important to CLAC and it is our belief that training is just one way we can help our members be the safest workers. By partnering with industry-leading training providers and offering the most up-to-date training courses, we work to help our members develop a positive safety culture in their workplace.
Remember, in a positive safety culture, questions about health and safety should be part of the everyday work conversations. Ownership of safety at all levels will ensure that risks are minimized or eliminated and that everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.