A company’s safety culture is a direct reflection of the organization’s overarching culture and the people who work in it. As a result, most employees will generate their perceptions of safety and its importance based on the attitude their employer projects.
The following are four main types of safety cultures commonly held by companies.
1. Forced Culture: A company with a forced safety culture uses bribes and threats as a way to motivate employees to keep safety top of mind. At these organizations employees often view health and safety officers as police-like figures because of their constant need to enforce codes and rules. In addition, employees view these individuals as solely in existence to catch them doing unsafe acts and to punish them. As a result, in these cultures the employees often feel overwhelmed by fear of punishment and their performance lacks, creating an unenjoyable work environment.
2. Protective Culture: A company with a protective safety culture prescribes a substantial amount of rules and regulations onto their employees. If an employee were to violate one of the rules, this may prompt management to create more rules. This ultimately creates confusion, as there are too many regulating factors in place.
3. Involved Culture: A company with an involved safety culture provides an abundance of safety training for employees, with the exception of top management officials. Though organizations with involved cultures often have higher morale because safety officers are not constantly policing employee actions, they also run the risk of not being as safe as they could potentially be. Integrating management into the safety culture will make it flourish.
4. Integral Culture: A company with an integral safety culture also provides an abundance of safety training for employees, and individuals at all levels attend. However, unlike a company with an involved culture, in these organizations safety officers still have budgets and authority to enforce rules when appropriate.
Amb Steve Mbugua – Ambassador Of Safety