Why Is A Good Safety Culture Vital in Your Workplace?
Personnel Safety: Ensuring a safe work environment will ensure workers return home safely. It is a moral and legal obligation for employers and employees to avoid causing harm to another person at or near the workplace. A well-constructed, fit for service Safety Management System including training, equipment and procedures is the absolute correct tool to ensure personnel, including visitors, return home safely to their families.
Output Capability: A poorly constructed or enforced Safety Management System is a good indication of an organisation that possesses a willingness to take short cuts without assessing the potential consequences. Short cuts or lack of suitable procedures invariably results in personal injury and or equipment damage, both of which will have a direct impact on company deliverables.
Reputation: Safety culture, efficiency and effectiveness, supported by polite and helpful customer service, provides the platform from which an organisation’s reputation is derived. A good safety reputation is a must, especially when tendering for contracts.
Cost: The monetary cost to an organisation with a poor safety culture can be enormous and include compensation, insurance premiums, rehabilitation, replacement training, lost time through injury, light duties through injury, equipment replacement and regulatory as well as criminal enforcement.
Compliance: Providing a safe workplace and safe system of work is not a kind-hearted procedure to enforce, it’s the law. Due Diligence is the part of the law that eliminates the mitigation of “I didn’t know”. The Work Health and Safety Act, Regulations, Codes of Practices and Standards provide organisations with mandatory requirements as well as Reasonably Practicable guidelines to assist in meeting compliance. These documents are strictly adhered to and enforced during Regulator investigations into potential non-conformances and may result in hefty fines and or imprisonment. Where an organisation is unsure of its legal obligation, a professional consultant should be engaged to assist in the interpretation of safety legislation.
Morale: Bad morale within an organisation can be toxic and can impact directly on the 5 predecessors of this blog. There can be several reasons for bad morale; however, in industry, poor safety consultation and communication, bullying, discrimination and harassment are the undisputed front runners. Various laws outline expectations and accountabilities in all these areas and places a responsibility directly on employers and employees to ensure legislative requirements are met.