By Aclaimant

Feb 13, 2024

In any organization where risk management is a high priority, safety culture is a fundamental aspect of any of its operations. It not only influences how risks are managed but also plays a significant role in safeguarding employee well-being. To be successful, a company must build on a foundation of shared values and attitudes toward maintaining a safe workplace, making the ideal of a safe workplace one of its primary objectives. 

Defining Safety Culture

"Safety culture" refers to an organization's attitudes and behaviors that prioritize and promote a well-running and hazard-free working environment. It goes beyond simply complying with regulations and instead focuses on a proactive approach to identifying and mitigating potential hazards. A strong safety culture is built on a foundation of employee well-being, where risks are managed effectively, and the overall objective is to maintain a safe workplace. lists several factors that entail a healthy safety culture, which include:

  • Employees, including individual contributors, managers, and executives, speaking openly and positively about safety procedures.
  • Prioritizing hazard minimization over productivity-at-all-costs from a top-down level.
  • Putting measures in place to allow employees to mitigate risks before they result in incidents.

Overall, safety culture comes from a commitment to providing tools and organizational support to empower employees to be more proactive.

Approaches and Benefits

In a recent Occupational Health & Safety journal article, Intelex safety vice president and industry veteran Scott Gaddis explores the links between overall workplace culture and safety culture. He lays out several steps companies can take:

  1. Setting a clear vision and laying out specific safety objectives, such as reductions in the number of workplace incidents or the rate of safety tasks being completed. Without a unifying framework, it's hard to get the workforce on the same page when determining progress.
  2. Positioning safety as a primary goal of the whole organization, rather than a side task. Though this seems like a small step at a glance, it assures employees that it is something that has executive support, making them more willing to devote limited time and resources to this end.
  3. Adopting a list of guiding principles that complement safety rules. allows employees more room to adapt and approach safety in ways that work within their day-to-day operations. Relying entirely on rules makes the process feel is being imposed, cutting off potential buy-in.
  4. Developing mutual relationships and celebrating success. Management must be ready to actively communicate their support for safety management efforts while providing the tools necessary to back that support. 

Supporting Safety with Tech

Policy must be backed with the means to support it. Take a transportation company as an example. Setting safety as a primary goal doesn't matter much if, for example, truckers have no way of raising a red flag on engine failures or faulty trailers. Traditional methods, like paper forms and shared spreadsheet systems, are often too slow to handle proactive reporting or rely on too many bottlenecks due to a lack of system access.

Risk management information systems (RMIS) can play a crucial role in promoting a proactive approach to risk management and creating a hazard-free working environment. These systems provide a centralized platform for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on safety data, allowing organizations to identify potential hazards and take appropriate actions to mitigate them.

By leveraging RMIS, companies can codify safety objectives into accessible digital forms and tools their employees use daily, and track progress toward reducing workplace incidents. Additionally, it can facilitate communication and collaboration among employees, enabling them to share safety procedures, report incidents, and suggest improvements. With RMIS, a company can build a happy cycle between the field and the central office, giving employees the ability to move more nimbly and act proactively, while giving management insight into the potential risk affecting the organization overall.

To learn more about how Aclaimant helps companies build a strong safety culture by empowering employees with a streamlined risk management platform, check out our safety and loss control solution page, or schedule a platform demo with a member of our team.