How to Create a Culture of Safety, and Why It’s Important

Stress, low morale, and poor expectations of your employees can contribute to high turnover, more time off work due to illnesses, and accidents on the job. All of which will increase your cost of doing business.

But you can increase productivity, improve your ability to attract and retain good employees, and boost profitability through creating a company culture that embraces safety

According to the 2016 study “Building a Safety Culture SmartMarket Report,” conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics (DD&A), contractors who encouraged a culture of safety reported powerful payback in the form of project quality, staff retention, project ROI, and ability to attract new staff.

 

DD&A used 33 indicators of a safety culture. The companies surveyed were general contractors, specialty contractors, design-build firms, construction managers and engineering firms. Those who scored highest experienced the most powerful return from their investment into safety.

While not all of indicators are relevant to a smaller contractor (most companies surveyed had over 500 employees), there are some key takeaways that you can apply to your business today.

  1. Management’s commitment to safety and health. As a manager, supervisor, and/or owner you set the priorities for safety. More importantly, those priorities must be communicated to your employees through having a formal process for safety-related corrective action, being proactive through making safety/health a key part of your strategic planning, having clearly defined health and safety expectations, and making safety a frequent topic at meetings.
  2. Safety and health are company values. Employees who feel valued at work, feel safe to let management know when there is a safety violation on the job. Value and safety directly correlate to higher productivity, employee retention, and increased ROI.
  3. Accountability. Your employees will rise to the level of your expectations. Expect them to hold themselves and everyone accountable for safety and they will.

To read the full report, click here.

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