“We learned it the hard way.”
One of our clients, the CEO of a large oil and gas company, had this to say about why the company completely reinvented itself in terms of workplace safety. The company was recovering from a major mishap and the leadership team realized that the only way to build an enterprise-wide safety culture was to reinforce the leadership team’s commitment to safety. It was about communication, coupled with the right systems and processes to follow-through.
While compliance with health and safety regulations was always important for the company, it was often down below in terms of priority, when compared to financial metrics. But the CEO realized that safety had to be added to the core corporate values of the company. The reasoning was obvious. One safety mishap – primarily because of a lack of management oversight – hurt the company’s reputation and financial performance.
In this blog, we focus on four to-dos by senior management to ensure this commitment to workplace safety gets implemented across the organization.
In an interview with EHSToday, the General Manager of an automotive company had said “If I cannot build accountability around safety, then I can’t achieve accountability around anything.” He was talking about how safety was right at the top of his agenda – even above quality, productivity, and costs. The key to building a world-class, safety-first workplace is to have an authentic commitment from your leaders.
Of course, commitment alone is not enough. Senior leaders have to communicate this mindset to all key stakeholders including suppliers, partners, employees and even visitors. Also, health and safety must find a place for discussion in all management meetings, ensuring that robust processes and standard operating procedures are set in place and followed.
Well-defined Safety Program with Documentation
The next step, of course, is to document the policy in detail. This includes realistic goals for all key safety metrics that can be measured on an on-going basis. Program management is crucial to ensuring that these goals are met.
A robust cloud-based EHS Solution, like the one from ComplianceQuest, will help safety leaders automate the process of health and safety management. It includes a document management solution that can be used for policy documentation as well as for training.
Roles, Responsibilities & Collaboration
Allocating resources and assigning roles and responsibilities is critical for any safety management process. The oil and gas company we referred to earlier, has setup a Health and Safety committee that is responsible for meeting safety goals. It includes representatives from various teams who can collaborate to design a robust safety workflow.
It is key for the entire organization to understand the risks related to safety events and it the responsibility of safety leader to drive a collaborative and proactive approach to safety management.
Accountability to Track & Improve Safety Metrics
Last but not least, what gets measured gets improved. Designing the right set of safety metrics to track, will help safety leaders make better decisions. Having access to the right dashboards and data visualizations helps safety leaders build a Continuously Improving (CI) safety management system.
ComplianceQuest’s EHS is designed to help leaders run a data-driven safety management process. It is designed to be scalable and flexible, and the solution can be customized as per your organization’s specific needs.
Interestingly, the tool is not only designed to capture safety risks and report incidents but also designed to provide positive reinforcement and appreciation for meeting safety goals.
The key to building a world-class safety culture revolves around healthy communication, brainstorming sessions and open discussion involving management, workers and all relevant business unit heads. An automated EHS system will certainly make the entire process seamless and collaborative.
To find out more about ComplianceQuest’s Safety Management Solution, visit here: http://www.compliancequest.com/work-health-and-safety-management-system/