Recently I had the pleasure of attending the International Safety Culture Summit at Saint Mary’s University. This was an excellent conference with several senior international speakers representing many diverse industries. Conference presenters spoke about the significant challenges associated with changing long established mindsets focused on compliance, utilizing by top-down controls to police workplace safety. As we have undoubtedly learned from the past, this “compliance approach” simply doesn’t work. Alternatively, taking a longterm, high involvement approach to addressing safety issues is highly effective, but takes time, and is not a “quick
fix”, a sentiment that was echoed loud an clear by conference speakers.
Developing a “Positive Safety Culture” requires leadership, courage and the changing of mind-sets to move organizational thinking beyond the traditional focus on compliance. Simply ensuring the rules, regulations, policies and procedures are in place and are enforced, is not effecting at realizing the improvements that need to be made.
No organization can afford to police all of their people all of the time, so it is critical to create an environment and cultural shift in thinking where employees take
ownership and responsibility for their own safety at work, and at home, each and every day.