If any organization needs to develop and maintain a mature safety culture, leadership of that organization is critical. An organization’s safety culture is a combined result of how the organization’s employees think, know, learn and do, to be safe. Similarly, a leader of an organization is successful and effective if it is a combination of commitment and action that influences others to do the same. In an organization, managers and supervisors make a major contribution to establish the safety environment whilst their decisions, actions and behaviours set benchmarks for safety, through the systems and processes they put in place, promote and support.
Various elements of culture such as policies, procedures, experiences provide indications or clues to nature of culture in organizations. It can also be assessed or sensed through the demonstration of behaviours, action and skills by its employees.
A strong safety environment and culture in practice leads the employees to follow the organization’s safety rules and procedures to prevent accidents. When employees see the positive results of their behaviours, they sub-consciously accept them and change their belief system. This ensures a positive cycle of high safety performance. A positive safety environment with a culture will enable the new entrants to the organization to quickly change or adapt to the organization’s safety rules and procedures.
On the other hand, an effective leader will recognize that the zero goal probably looks very different at the front line than in the boardroom and knows that he or she won’t get anywhere without establishing a commitment to employees first. If you want to become leader, who is good at safety, you must learn how to do things differently. That difference is called the transformational leadership.
GLC’s European HSE Management Forum happening from 28th-29th September 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Berlin is a highly industry driven event. The event gathers several different industries under one roof and well-known European HSE leaders are coming to share their knowledge and experience on how leaders could influence on building a great safety culture. The event is an opportunity that mustn’t be missed by HSE leaders who are ardent in creating safety cultures with influence.