Ensuring that workplaces are safe for all employees, visitors contractors or suppliers has always been a top priority across many industries. However, in the current climate that we all find ourselves in, it has never been more important for businesses to have a sound health and safety culture in place. Having a sturdy health and safety culture alongside some key golden rules can not only enforce health and safety measures but will also keep the minds of everyone involved at ease that there are clear procedures in place.
The safety culture of an organisation is defined as; the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organisation's health and safety management.
In companies with a good safety culture, you will find the story from employees and management is consistent and safety is seen as a joint exercise. Cohesion and teamwork to ensure the health and safety of the organisation should span all employee levels and be part of everyday conversation, not just if an incident occurs.
Linked to and supportive of a businesses safety culture are its golden rules. A golden rule is an important rule or principle, especially in a particular situation. For example in the case of health and safety, an important golden rule for working in any factory is to observe its safety regulations. Golden rules are specific to each and every organisation based on how they operate, their employees and any other factors they wish to consider when putting together their golden rules of safety. An organisation can choose to have as many or as little golden rules as they wish in order to ensure that their health and safety culture is being reinforced company-wide.
At Shell (Shell's Golden Rules) they describe their golden rules as being in place to emphasise the responsibility of individuals, whilst continually encouraging all involved to help other colleagues and respect their neighbours. Shell also want to apply their golden rules to everything that they do, ‘every day, in every activity and in every business. No matter what pressure we are under, the Golden Rules always come first.’
The use of golden rules in such a large organisation as Shell can only reinforce the importance of a business's health and safety culture no matter the size or industry
It is vital not to let production and costs take over the importance of the health and safety culture of an organisation, incorporating golden rules can be a great way to ensure it is a long term continuous goal rather than a short term box tick.
As mentioned previously, the presence of an effective safety culture is reliant upon on worker levels. No matter the seniority of the employee, all individuals should be responsible for complying with health and safety themselves, as well as ensuring others are too company-wide. The active involvement of senior management in the health and safety system is very important.
Ensuring that all employees and visitors are trained and/or inducted to ensure that all guidelines for the industry are being followed is also vital to the success of an organisation. Using a platform such as Calm Inductions is a great way to keep track of and build ownership of safety at all levels and exploit the unique knowledge that employees have of their own work. This can include active involvement in workshops, risk assessments and individual training.
If you are looking to improve or streamline the processes within your organisation to ensure health and safety compliance, then get in touch with the team here at Calm Inductions who will be more than happy to help!