That’s the Way We Always Do It!A common reason given by employees when asked why unsafe practices occur. Many of us feel we have a pretty good health and safety system in place. However most of us can think of at least one example of when we chose to do something we knew was unsafe or in violation of a company safety polity. Too often, the justification is either we have done it before or we have seen others take the same risk. Yet as we all know, at some point our luck will run out.
Companies of all sizes are vulnerable to this attitude. For large companies with many employees, the number of unsafe acts occurring on a daily basis can add up quick (YIKES!). For smaller companies, loss time from even a single person can have devastating impacts to productivity.
Let’s examine what could be causing you or your co-workers to be willing to take these risks.
Look at the list of behaviors/attitudes below. Now evaluate and mark those which are clearly evident within your company. Each check mark counts as 1 point. Add up the check marks and total your score.
- Management (all levels) is commented to safety and health
- Management demonstrates that commitment
- Management communicates safety and health
- Management sets an examples for safety
- Managers are held accountable for safety
- Employees are equally committed to health and safety
- Employees demonstrate that commitment
- Employees set an example for each other and speak up when they see something unsafe (help others work safely)
- Employees are involved in safety
Total Score ____________
Remember only place a check mark by those attitudes you are confident exist at your company.
How did you do? Do you have more boxes checked or unchecked? Use this simple exercise as a quick gap analysis of Management Leadership and Employee involvement (both foundational elements of an effective safety system).
When you see an opportunity for improvement, look to your self first. Be the change you want to see in your company’s safety culture.
Next time you tell someone, this is how we do it here, be talking about acts of safety and following your companies safety best practices.