Building a Safety Culture
Building a safety culture is essential for organizations to enable them to prevent unnecessary injuries in work places. Blair notes that most past reports of the causes of disasters attribute them to bad institutional culture (59). Although the strategies for building a safety culture are quite simple, they are not easy to implement due to various distractors. Accordingly, organizations should rigorously identify ways of establishing a safety culture by continuously monitoring its work place environment and identifying elements that can minimize their success.
Blaire notes that there are three strategies for building a safety culture, which he categorizes as working towards being a 100% reporting culture, developing safety awareness with meaningful rules, and ensuring that leaders understand how to consistently act to develop this culture (60-61). To achieve these objectives, he espouses that companies should value reporting, use systems that encourage it, and make appropriate follow-through (Blaire 60). He also notes that organizations should ensure that their safety rules are simple, clear, and consistent so that all employees can easily understand them (61). Blaire also identifies commitment and supervisory support as the main factors that influence a safety culture (62). Therefore, an organization’s management should focus on specific behaviors, such as leadership by walking around (LBWA), to influence employees to influence safety performance in their organizations.
Response to the Article
Blaire’s article is informative on the practical aspects needed by managers to ensure there is a safety culture in their companies. He acknowledges that although the strategies for having this culture are simple, they are difficult to implement due to various distractions that may occur in the management process. The use of examples to support his arguments makes them objective and credible. Consequently, I agree with most of what Blaire’s says; however, I find the article shallow because he has overlooked environmental factors that affect a company’s culture. Blaire argument is based on an ideal business, in practice, organizations are affected by corruption, which compromises their entire working environment. Corrupt chief executive officers, auditors, and government agencies may overlook the importance of a safe working environment, which may impede the efforts of a manager in creating a safety culture.
Blair, Earl H. “Building Safety Culture: Three Practical Strategies.” Professional Safety, vol. 58, no. 11, 2013, p. 59-66.