Safety Culture: Leadership's Commitment to Safety

  • workforce insights
  • August 29, 2014

leadership's role in safe operations

Developing a healthy safety culture requires leaders and top management to champion safety as a key organizational value. Creating policies and hanging posters is not enough. Management needs to be genuinely interested in workplace safety, available to address workers’ concerns and accountable for creating a safe work environment. Maintaining a visible commitment to safety involves more than making occasional personal appearances to employees and should include strategic activities that impact workers’ daily lives.

In addition to ensuring that effective, continuously improved safety programs are in place, management should establish safety performance metrics that serve as a check and balance to productivity metrics. Additionally, visible management commitment is critical in organizations that employ temporary workers, who may fear that alerting their employers to safety hazards will put their jobs at risk. Contingent workers will be more likely to speak up about their concerns if they see management actively engaged in addressing safety issues. When management leads in safety, the organization will follow.