A State of Mind: Reinforcing a Safety Culture

Every organization has a culture, whether it realizes that fact or not.  The way people view themselves, each other, what is expected of them, what may be important or not – all represent factors that build into that culture.

Attitudes and behaviors surrounding safety fit into that mix, and in ways that can hit the bottom line.

According to OSHA, an established safety culture can reduce an organization’s injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent.  Regarding safety, OSHA provides the following statistics:

  • Employers pay nearly $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone, which comes straight out of corporate profits.
  • Injuries and illnesses increase workers’ compensation and retraining costs.
  • Lost productivity from injuries and illnesses costs companies approximately $63 billion annually.

A stronger safety culture can help alleviate many of those avoidable costs.  But how does a culture take root and begin to become part of the organization’s DNA?

One approach comes in tying safety behaviors to incentives and compensation.  Reward employees who err on the side of safety over speed.  It’s important to distinguish between reward and recognition, however, meaning that you don’t want employees doing something only because they know they’ll get something in return.  It must become routine behavior because of the deeper benefits – namely, that they and their co-workers can return home after every shift safe and whole.

A strong safety culture inspires people to look out for one another and point out unsafe situations or behaviors.  Establishing and reinforcing this level of mutual consideration, protection, and sense of responsibility leads to a culture where an organization can achieve its business goals because its people care about the team.

The Insurance professionals at The Reschini Group can help identify a roadmap to help your organization build and promote a safety culture that alleviates the cost of injuries and illnesses, but more importantly, keeps your people safe and productive.

Copyright 2019 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.