Thoughts and Opinions on Developing a Successful Safety Culture
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein
After taking a brief time off to reflect on my long career and focusing on my path forward, I have decided to continue to express my own personal and professional opinions and experiences with anyone willing to listen. In my view, most professionals have their own different views, and we need to value other opinions. I am one of those professionals that have many ideas and suggestions. As such I am willing to share my thoughts with the hope that I can provide enough information to help put together the pieces of the puzzle of developing a successful safety process.
I plan on providing several posts based on my opinion, based learning the safety trade through experience, personal and professional experiences, both positive and negative, and personal insights, coupled with trial and error, based on reflections and hindsight. As part of these post, I will be addressing the question: How do you define your role in your organization?
On some occasions, I may provide a resource(s) of interest that I have found through my research that I believe supports the concept that I am discussing.
All that I ask is that each reader keeps an open mind to my opinion and conclusions and consider conducting additional research on the subject matter to validate any conclusion(s) presented. Once the research is completed, one can determine the best solution that may work.
This additional research is important to enhance ones learning as a professional and provides a better position to help express and defend a particular position fully and clearly.
I look at it this way, the knowledge, experience, and opinions that we normally use were derived from some resource and experiences. We take these experiences and resources and build on them to come to our conclusion(s). One needs to continue to build on experiences by continually conducting additional research and providing resources to the specific area that are being discussed to support your discussion conclusion.
Based on my observations and discussions, some readers may not agree with me as to my thought process, and that is OKAY. I always value other opinions.
Genius is 1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration.”
- Thomas Alva Edison
As leaders, we face many challenges each day in our work environment and throughout our careers. One such challenge, for me as a Safety Professional, was to understand the various discussions centered around the development of a “Safety Culture.”
Based on experience, defining and implementing a “Safety Culture” is a concept that is not well understood. There are many definitions of the words “Safety Culture” used which are not consistent.
As such, I have observed many definitions of “Safety Culture,” that are not well-defined and are not usually clearly communicated to a leadership team.
What I discovered during research and experience is that a “Safety Culture” needs to be aligned with the overall “Organizational Culture” or it will not work.
One thing that I have learned through personal experience and observations is that for a successful Safety Culture to be developed and sustained; it is important that the leadership team and employees alike need to change their perception of safety itself. There must be a agreement in regards to the concepts of what a Safety Management System should look like.
As I stated in the beginning, based on many years of trial and error, and research, I have determined that the key to any successful safety system is the development and sustainability of an organizational safety culture.
The objective is to overcome and incorporate some elements of a multi-disciplined approach that entails an understanding of the work environment, the perception of safety, the differences between mandatory and compliance requirements, basic Safety Management Systems, Human error performance, communication, etc.
To detail some of the information that I will be presenting in these post, the end goal was to write a Kindle book “Why is it Important to Understand the Perception of Safety?”
which would be a supplement to an on-line training program, “The Perception of Developing a Successful Safety Culture”
This course was developed using a logical format that can be viewed as a real-life, down to earth approach from which other safety professionals can draw from and not just theory devoid of practicality.
The information presented in this post is based on excerpts from the Kindle book and Chapter 1 of a published book “Safety Culture: An Innovative Leadership Approach,” co-authored by Nathan Crutch field, and has been expanded to include other Safety Culture-related information that was not included in the original book. Our book can be viewed on Amazon