What is the safety culture approach?
"Vision Zero", the avoidance of all accidents in a company, is an ideal often strived for in occupational health and safety. Technical, organisational, as well as personal measures can effectively reduce accidents and health hazards at work. However, accidents still occur, which can be explained by the fact that 85% of accidents are not due to technical measures, but to unsafe behaviour.
For the best possible protection of employees, technical and organisational occupational safety must be supplemented by a behaviour-oriented component.Dr. Ludwig Brands, Head of Occupational Safety at TÜV Rheinland
This is precisely where safety culture comes into play in companies: Behaviour-oriented occupational safety uncovers the causes of unsafe behaviour and works out possible solutions with all hierarchical levels in the company. The focus is on the employees and their concrete actions: Employees themselves are motivated and empowered to recognise and name risks and, as a team, to develop and implement improvements for their area of work in safety circles. The resulting safety rules are understood and lived, rather than just followed.
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Safety culture in companies: motivate employees and reduce accidents
A safety culture is defined by all the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviours related to safety that are shared by the majority of people in the company or workplace. A positive safety culture empowers all employees to take responsibility for themselves and others while motivating them to think and act proactively about safety.
The state of safety culture corresponds to one of five stages in our growth model. Understanding these culture stages enables us to position the existing safety culture and implement effective measures for successful change.
Together with our experts, we help you identify your safety culture and develop a strategy for improvement.
Advantages of a safety culture & behaviour-based safety at a glance
Behaviour-Based Safety motivates employees to take care of themselves and their colleagues. A team feeling develops that motivates each individual to contribute to accident prevention and move a step closer to Vision Zero. The result is a vibrant and sustainable safety culture. Managers at all levels must consistently exemplify the safety culture. To this end, managers must be aware of their responsibility for the safety and health of their employees and be prepared to act as role models in the context of the safety culture.
Behaviour-oriented occupational safety reduces the accident rate, protects the health of employees and reduces accident-related absences. Professionally implemented, the successes can be measured: The implementation of our concept for a safety culture in the company results in
- The commitment and awareness of the workforce to safe working practices increases,
- Correction of deficiencies increases,
- near-accidents are reliably reported, and
- workplace accidents decrease.
These successes result from everyone involved internalising the safety rules and feeling responsible for their implementation. The safety culture approach means that rules are no longer perceived as being imposed from outside but as a personal contribution that is important and valued. This creates a safety culture within the company that also contributes to its external image as a safety- and health-conscious employer.
Attitude towards safety at work
There will always be a small percentage of employees who have difficulty getting excited about occupational safety. In contrast, however, there are about 15% of employees who are self-motivated in occupational safety and already take responsibility.
The majority of employees (approx. 70%) are somewhere in between in their attitude. These employees are undecided and move between negative and positive attitudes.
To win over this majority for yourself and occupational safety, you must actively work on your safety culture and can promote motivation through behaviour-oriented aspects.