In organizations with safety risks, leaders loudly proclaim their commitment to health & safety. But every day we read news reports of another worker badly hurt or killed on the job.
The stark contrast in injuries and deaths between very unsafe and extremely safe workplaces — often in the very same industries — can be 10 times or more. Yet these vastly different organizations are often employing workers from the same community with similar skills, experience, and compensation.
The key variable is leadership. Leaders establish the culture that creates an extremely healthy and safe workplace or one that’s dangerous and often deadly. One of our studies correlating safety incidences to leadership effectiveness rating showed that the top 10% of leaders created a workplace three and a half times safer than the bottom 10% of leaders.
We’ve just posted four new articles written by our senior associate, Scott Schweyer, on our Culture & Organization Development page. Here’s a brief summary and link to each article:
- Safe Behaviors and Good Intentions – challenging deeply ingrained attitudes, behaviors, and thinking is critical to a very safe workplace culture. Includes a chart summarizing a survey of six Employee Safety Behaviors.
- Who’s in Charge of Safety? – a safe work culture comes from everyone paying attention to the details of what goes on in the work environment and employees having the passion and energy to get involved and do something about what they see, hear and experience.
- Case Study: Leadership Commitment to Change Safety Culture – the seven step process used by a large organization to change their high accident frequency and severity rates to be best in class.
- What Does a Great Safety Culture Look Like? – the ‘Give-A-Care-Meter’ has a huge impact on worker behaviors like raising safety concerns. It makes the difference between speaking up or turning away from someone working in a potentially dangerous situation.
John Ruskin, the 19th century British art critic and writer once observed, “what we think, or what we know or what we believe in is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” Leaders create extraordinary safety cultures through backing up their words with strong follow through and action.