Making a Culture of Safety the Foundation
Safety is a familiar concept to us all. We read safety reports before we buy a car, instruct our children to wear bicycle helmets, and buckle our seat belts in the car. We are surrounded by safety labels on everything from plastic bags to hair dryers. But how often do we talk about safety in our workplace, where we spend one-third of our adult lives?
The answer to this question is probably not often enough. Data show that each year an average of 3 million people in private industry face some kind of injury as a result of their jobs. In many industries, injury costs can exceed profit in a given year.
At its core, workplace health and safety has four essential parts:
- Culture—the values, assumptions, norms, and everyday behaviors of an organization’s people,
- Compliance—meeting mandated regulatory standards,
- Risk Management—processes to better identify risk and to control exposures, and
- Governance—establishing controls by which an organization can validate and ensure compliance standards and policies.