What is a safety culture?
Culture by definition is “the way of life, of a group of people”, meaning the “way they do things”.
If we look at safety as the “way we do things” in our places of employment, you could summarize it this way:
- Safety is learning – training, education and hands on experience
- Safety is money, just like time is money – workplace injuries have a big human and financial cost, so it pays for your employer to invest in safety meetings, safety training, and PPE
- Safety is a priority – supported from management and staff
- Safety is a value – with fewer or no accidents you save money and give employees peace of mind
- Safety is instinctive – we automatically perform work tasks safely
We challenge you to think differently about safety and how to apply it in your work activities.
Safety training plays an important part in the workplace and our own development.
Safety is a life-long process
From a young age we learn about safety. For example, putting that fork or knife in the electrical outlet we learned a hard lesson about the shocking power of electricity. We all learned lessons by watching others experience events that caused them some pain. Hopefully we never witness a dramatic, life changing event from an unsafe action.
As we matured, training became a constant companion, in sporting activities and sometimes with our first job. We learned the do’s and don’ts either flipping burgers or helping a parent build and repair things around the house.
On-the-job safety training
Now, our jobs require “safety training.” Safety training plays an important part in the workplace and our own development.
It’s the law for employers to provide training for hazardous tasks. Employers are required to show workers the proper use and hazards associated with equipment and tools. Employees also need to know what to do if the equipment is damaged or defective.
Each employer is required to have an accident prevention program i.e., a safety manual that addresses their policies and requirements.
This level of protection, training, education is considered to be an administrative control.
Examples of administrative controls
- Safety manual
- New hire orientations
- Task specific training
- Company policies
Each administrative control is important and required by law.
Training comes during required safety meetings and at other times in day-to-day work. These training requirements are not meant to hinder your ability to do your job, but to enhance the quality of work and keep everyone at the jobsite safe.
Take a moment to know where the safety manual (Accident Prevention Program) is located, take some time to read what’s in the manual, and ask questions of your supervisor.
Also, use training as an opportunity to engage others to learn from your experience and expertise. Be willing to learn one new thing each week to keep you safe and going home healthy.
Let’s be safe out there!!!