A 2015 Model Safety Future
“Culture” – Merriam-Webster’s 2014-Word-of-the-Year – it’s all about culture! When the following ten safety culture management systems are in place , loss costs and overall cost of risk decrease while profitability, safety, productivity , communication, quality and timeliness increase:
- Safety accountability (financial & management)
- Performance scorecard & safety data analysis
- Safety feedback, inspection & behavior observation
- Consequence management & OSHA- and DOJ-compliant incentive plans
- Safety training & retraining
- New employee safety orientation
- Safety communication, teamwork & return-to-work
- Healthy living & distraction prevention
- Human capital & safety leadership ; and
- Regulatory compliance
*as originally designed by the consultants for Ken Blanchard ( author of The One Minute Manager and Gung Ho!) and Scott Oxman:
The key to success is to continuously and relentlessly focus all employees on safety and health initiatives while empowering them to keep safety and health at the top-of-mind whether working with equipment and machinery , in the office, or over-the-road.
Accidents, injuries and their financial consequences all tend to involve at-risk behaviors and multiple common causes . The Professional Safety May 2000 article, The Architecture of Safety Excellence identifies the following as drivers of safety performance:
- Organizational Culture – vision , values , and purpose enshrined in practice
- Organizational Leadership – executive team actions demonstrate commitment to safety and health
- Organizational Structure – safety is a part of every job description
- Organizational Process – performance management systems (Oxman Safety Model)
These variables interact to produce organizational performance , and ultimately determine outcomes and results. Although there are no quick fixes in business or safety, companies that forge strong values , lead people, align roles and relationships , and effectively manage human performance can reap rapid returns and dramatic reductions in accidents , injuries, and loss costs.
In an organizational safety context, there are three Levels of Change, each of which addresses a different target, and correspondingly, has an increasingly greater impact on performance and results. These are:
Level I Transitional Change (minor):
Initiatives to change working conditions and behaviors – e.g. machine SOPs, safety inspections , and safety training
Level II Transitional Change (moderate):
Initiatives to change organizational roles, process systems , and management practices – e.g. safety champions , OSHA- and DOJ-compliant incentive programs, and interdepartmental training on lessons from losses and close calls
Level III Transitional Change (major):
Initiatives to change organizational culture and values and executive actions – e.g. safety scorecards that benchmark department performance and reward achievements , and executive team meetings that steer safety culture initiatives
To significantly impact results, an organization must advance beyond only employing Level I traditional thinking in safety, and target Level II and Level 111, as these are the upstream causes of and controls over loss in an organization.
All U . S . employers that want to achieve exceptional results would benefit from a Safety Culture Improvement Plan developed as a result of a comprehensive, tabulated, Safety and Performance Management Assessment.
Five Guiding Principals for a Sustainable Safety & Wellness Culture
CD The first duty of business is to survive, and the guiding principle of business economics is not the maximization of profit, it is the avoidance of loss.
Every organization is uniquely designed to exactly produce the results it
It’s the consequences that change behaviors.
–Brad Diede ( Blanchard)
Given the opportunity to do nothing, most will.
–Coderre’s Law of Least Resistance
Nothing happens until people talk.