How do you know when culture changes?

Imagine going from believing:

  • Risk taking is part of the job.
  • The job is dangerous so accidents are to be expected.

to believing:

  • Safety commitment is a business offering.
  • Zero accidents are the goal.

These beliefs aren’t held by two different places. This was the change within one organization. That’s clear evidence of culture change.

Imagine thinking “we do it because we have to” about safety, to thinking “we do it because we want to.” Culture change.

These were examples heard today at the National Safety Council’s Congress & EXPO where senior executives from three companies known for their strong safety cultures spoke: Schneider Electric, Johnson & Johnson and DynMcDermott Petroleum.

Several more points shared:

  • True safety culture will transfer to off the job hours. People take a value for safety with them to other areas of their lives, and may likely influence family and friends too.
  • Ask:  What values drive your daily decisions? Really think about this.
  • Safety is not a “bolt on.” It is how to do business. This should be true under both favorable and challenging economic times. A value is a value no matter the economy.
  • The man or woman at the top must model the culture visibly to employees.
  • Accountability is reached with behavior-based compliance. Behavior-based approaches are the business drivers.
  • Dashboards that monitor business processes should include environmental health and safety metrics.
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