Health & Safety Culture broken: Just Do It

Health and safety culture

All too often people are adopting a “Just Do it” or “Get it over and done with” type mentality when it comes to health and safety training.  It is a necessary evil isn’t it?  One of those things we just have to do – get the box ticked and move on…there is no importance or relevance to an everyday role…WRONG.  The health and safety culture in far too many organisations is broken and it needs to be fixed.

This sort of attitude has been giving the health and safety training world a poor reputation for years.  People assume training is going to be boring and tuck it right down the priority list of things to get done.  However, shouldn’t we be trying to turn the tables on this and actively promote a positive health and safety culture, whatever environment we are in?

It is a sad state of affairs these days that we are never happy! We want it all.  We want it to be sunny when it is we complain it is too hot.  We want it to rain to water the gardens when it does we complain it’s too wet…We want our employers to care about our welfare and wellbeing but we complain when they do the right thing.

Personally, I know that my priority at the end of each working day is, of course, to have done my best for the company, but also to return home safe to my family…after all what is working hard all about if it isn’t to provide for your life outside of your work?  There are those among us who live to work and prioritise that above all else, which is a lifestyle choice they are free to make.  However, when your employer is actively trying to provide you with the knowledge you need in order to, not only succeed in your role, but also return home safely to your family, why are we so quick to ignore it?

Consider the statistics

These are statistics as reported by the HSE for 2017/2018:

  • 144 workers killed at work
  • 555,000 injuries occurred at work
  • 30.7 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • 71,062 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 2,595 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2016)

Now, do you want to help change the health and safety culture in your organisation?

Sounds great but how?

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”…Vincent Van Gogh

Changing an organisation’s health and safety culture won’t happen overnight.  There are a number of ways to affect change and you have to find the one that works for you.  Some will swear by an advocacy approach whereby you find the people who are already on board and work together to spread the message.  Others will take a “Hearts & Minds” approach whereby you actively try to win over the toughest opposition and use that success to drive change in the easier target areas.  Some take a heavy-handed approach and make additional training a mandatory exercise hoping to win over people with submersion. Whereas some will look to match their training with their organisations learning styles – do they respond better to text, or video, or classrooms or games?    There really is no right or wrong approach as we are all individuals and the organisations in which we work are no different to that.

So what should you do?

There is no simple solution, quick fix or magic wand to be waved.  But this challenging topic is exactly what Barry O’Connor (Former Director of Corporate Protection and Safety, Global Compliance at adidas Group)  will be tackling at the Health & Safety Zone at Learning Technologies on February 13th and 14th 2019.  If you are visiting the show you can save your seat at these exclusive conversations by clicking the button below:

Save your seat

Don’t wait till tomorrow to start making a change today.
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