Building a Safety Culture: Part 2
November 25, 2014
By Troy Ogden
Recently, Brasfield & Gorrie Chief Safety and Human Resources Officer Tom Garrett shared our perspective on building a culture of safety through a system that begins with leadership and includes open lines of communication throughout the organization. In this post, we’ll explore some of the collaborative approaches we use to develop and strengthen our culture of safety.
- Building trust: Trust is the cornerstone of building a strong team and safety culture. We work hard to build trust by empowering every employee to “See something, say something, do something.” Our stop work policy is another example of empowering our employees to own safety. Safety is a team sport that requires everyone’s participation. We can’t have open and honest communication if our employees feel that their voices don’t matter.
- Improving systems: Too often, organizations try to fix workers rather than the systems they operate. Embracing the idea that safety is a result of both behavior and systems, we focus on improving our systems to drive better safety results.
- Acclimating employees: Acclimating new employees is critical to maintaining a strong safety culture. We have a process for familiarizing new hires with our safety culture and expectations from day one through safety orientation, hard hat decals, safety coaches, OSHA 10-hour training, and ongoing safety conversations.
Improving continuously: We are always looking for ways to improve everything we do. With an average of approximately 180 active projects across the U.S., we have ample opportunities to test new ideas. For instance, we recently launched two pilot programs that are already yielding positive results: our safety captain program, which empowers employees to take ownership of safety, and our crew work plan, which is a more comprehensive form of the traditional job safety analysis.
Our safety program has been recognized frequently for excellence, but that doesn’t mean we’re finished building our safety culture. We’ll keep aggressively pursuing safety excellence.
Troy Ogden is Corporate Safety Director at Brasfield & Gorrie.