Organizations are continually searching for cutting-edge techniques to decrease risk exposure for their employees. Consequently, management must understand that adopting new policies and procedures can at times be met with resistance, and the approach by which safety standards are implemented and enforced can influence employee attitudes toward the organization as well as their personal safety behaviors.
Discussions about safety commitment are typically focused on management’s efforts to show that safety is a priority to the organization. It is one of the most visible components of a safety program, as a simple internet search will produce an endless list of formal safety commitment statements proudly spotlighted on the mission statement pages of company websites. For example, in their code of conduct manual, Ford Motor Company states:
Our most valuable asset is our people. Nothing is more important than their safety and well-being. Our coworkers and families rely on this commitment. There can be no compromise.
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Clearly, commitment to safety is critical to improving safety performance, but less obvious is the nature of safety commitment at the individual employee level.
Although strong safety performance begins with the organization, it is actually carried out by the collective behaviors of employees. Thus, every employee’s personal safety commitment can dramatically affect safety outcomes and carry consequences not only for themselves, but their coworkers as well. Commitment to safety is a characteristic of high SafetyDNATM, such that some individuals are more thorough than others in their job briefings prior to performing a task, more mindful of having all of the necessary PPE to complete a job, less likely to break rules to get a job done faster, and generally more cautious on the work site.
Conversely, employees who do not exhibit a strong commitment to safety may simply have poor SafetyDNA, an issue that management must address through assessment, training, and possible disciplinary actions, or they may perceive that safety is not valued by the organization and adjust their safety performance accordingly. Therefore, building lines of trust and communication to improve employee attitudes towards safety can be key to fostering a culture of safety commitment.
Many organizations recognize the importance of personal responsibility for safety performance, and some even go so far as to have employees sign a statement of personal safety commitment. For instance, the Babcock & Wilcox Company presents its employees with a social contract that reads:
I am dedicated to maintaining a safe work environment and will demonstrate my commitment to safety through these actions:
I am responsible for my safety and the safety of others.
I am committed to an incident and injury free workplace.
I acknowledge that people are fallible, and even the best make mistakes.
I will actively anticipate and communicate error-likely situations and failed defenses.
I will not perform or permit an unsafe act — I have the responsibility and authority to stop work.
I will encourage and reinforce the safe behavior of others.
I will make these commitments part of my everyday life at work and at home.
Beyond formal measures like this, organizations should encourage employee involvement in their safety programs. However, employees must be internally motivated to create the safest working environment possible, or the organization’s efforts will be fruitless. The basic tenets of a personal safety commitment philosophy should include:
Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
I am responsible for my own workplace safety.
I will go above and beyond the minimum safety standards required of my job.
I will continually improve my safety behaviors.
I will work with management to decrease my exposure to risk.
I will set an example of safe behavior for my coworkers.
Every incident can be avoided.
Every job can be done safely.
Working safely is a Condition of my Employment!
Employees can use any or all of these principles as personal safety phrases while they work to improve their SafetyDNA, consequently increasing safety commitment and helping create a culture of effective safety performance.
Essay Health, Safety and Welfare at Work
1935 Words8 Pages
Health, Safety and Welfare at Work
Health and safety in the workplace is not only the responsibility of the designated Health and Safety Officer, it is the duty of all members of staff to be responsible for the safety of everyone they may have to deal with during the working day; both their colleagues and members of the public.
The Health and Safety Executive are a body whose role is to promote safety in the workplace; both by providing information to employers and their employees, and also by ensuring that rules and guidelines are adhered to in everyday practice.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (or H&SE), the employer has a responsibility under law to ensure, as far as is…show more content…
There must be proper storage facilities for all articles of equipment, both personal and belonging to the company, and also for all substances.
Articles left lying around the workplace are hazardous to health; somebody could easily trip or fall over some item that is not stored properly. An untidy site is a dangerous site!
Any substances such as flammable liquids for example must be stored correctly. This means in a non-combustible container, which is itself locked in a suitable storage room or inside a steel cabinet.
The workplace itself must satisfy basic health and welfare requirements; there must be an adequate first-aid facility provided, which is clean and well stocked with basic items such as bandages, eyewash solution and antiseptic cleaning solution.
The employer must also provide clean toilets, washing facilities and a suitable rest area, which is warm, dry, well lit and quiet.
The employer has a responsibility to ensure that any employees are aware of safe working practices and procedures. This includes drawing up emergency procedures, such as what to do in the event of a fire. Any public