Organizations with advanced safety cultures are based on mutual trust between leadership and workers.
Organizations with advanced safety cultures are based on mutual trust between leadership and workers. One important opportunity for improvement in many safety programs is communication around hazard identification and assessment between the workers and the leadership. Workers on the front lines have valuable, untapped information about the workplace, including ideas on solving systemic safety issues and identifying potential cost savings opportunities.
One of the most trust-damaging leadership behaviors is to ignore or mishandle safety information that comes from workers. Workers can feel like their attempts to participate in the safety program are futile or a waste of time if they must keep reporting the same issue over and over, and they may come to resent leadership for not taking their input seriously. On the other hand, effectively managing reported safety hazards and issues can immediately start to build trust by showing that worker safety matters. Through thoughtful consideration of the hazard or workplace issue and implementation of an effective corrective action, leadership can encourage more open communication, potentially preventing future serious or fatal injuries. Leaders can’t fix what they don’t know about. Giving workers an effective conduit to communicate about hazards and risks empowers them to actively participate, making workers directly involved in creating a safer workplace.
Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS), like ISO 45001, require effective processes for identification of OH&S hazards, control of the risks and a method of taking advantage of OH&S opportunities. Additionally, OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs requires worker participation, management leadership, hazard Identification and assessment, hazard prevention and control, education and training and program evaluation and improvement. OSHA states that to effectively control and prevent hazards, employers should involve workers, who often have the best understanding of the conditions that create hazards and insights into how they can be controlled.
To proactively manager worker safety, organizations require an integrated approach to technology, people and the organization and ZERO is here to help make that happen. ZERO is a revolutionary communication assistant for world-class organizations that want to improve safety performance through worker participation and innovation. Ensure that your leadership and workers are creating a trust-based safety culture through proactively communicating about hazards and the risks involved, and finding innovative solutions to prevent harm.