Leadership style and management behaviours have a direct influence on an organisation’s safety culture. Responsible leaders recognise the strategic importance of health and safety, as well as the need for it’s integration with both business and performance management systems.
If you are wanting to continue to grow your safety culture, here are 4 tips that will help you to lead from the top and incorporate better health and safety practice across your organisation.
Leading by example is a simple rule that all can recognise and understand. Leaders who visibly demonstrate health and safety practices make it very clear to everyone the strategic importance of a safety culture within an organisation. Following the rules, regardless of your position in the company, helps to develop integrity. Communicating your commitment to health and safety, with words and actions, will help to promote a culture of safety.
Leadership can be incorporated into the wider health and safety management system to ensure an integrated, and therefore more effective approach to risk management. This can help to understand and tackle situations that lead to risk-taking behaviours in the workplace.
It is important that the roles and responsibilities of different people in preventing and managing health and safety risks at the workplace are clearly defined, planned and monitored proactively.
Managers who are engaged at all levels are better placed to provide direction and preventative health and safety measures. Managers who actively participate with better able to gain a clear understanding of the risk profile within an organisation.
Visiting workstations to talk with staff about health and safety concerns can go a long way. Not only does it show you care, but you may also find solutions by talking to employees. Talking helps to create a culture of dialogue - one that leads to reporting risks and finding solutions faster.
Some employers have found benefits in going beyond legal obligations. They encourage active health and safety involvement on a daily basis and also include workers in additional forums such as working groups on specific topics. Conducting well-defined PPE trials, gathering feedback from wearers can help overcome a multitude of risks.
Ultimately - effective upward communication is key. Employee input is especially valuable during risk assessments, while developing policies and during training or trials.
Monitoring and reporting are vital tools for enhancing workplace safety and health. Management systems which provide, leading and lagging indicators can be useful in raising issues or highlighting problems. Awareness enables you to take action more quickly, improving workplace health and safety.
If you would like further leadership training, register for our IOSH Leading Safely course. It will help provide anyone in a leadership role with practical knowledge and the strategic solutions for good safety and health practice. Our Next Course date is 18th October 2018 at our training premises in Ardleigh, Colchester.
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