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Getting Your Safety Culture Right

Having an engaged safety culture is critical for a high performing organisation. In a joint study conducted by the Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organisation, disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. Additionally, in organisations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time.

Team working on Safety Culture



“Old ways of looking at risk are insufficient in today’s global business environment if executives want their organizations to be sustainable and prosper”

–  Davide Vassallo, Global Managing Director of DuPont Sustainable Solutions


Leadership is the key to taking your safety culture from reactive to proactive.

The findings of the DSS’ 2018 Global Operations Risk Management survey of executives uncovered that leaders are failing to implement the central characteristics of a successful risk management program in their organisations. The survey also found that executives are not placing enough emphasis on risk that can lead to large-scale incidents as well as failing to address gaps in their risk management processes. Additionally, executives that participated in the survey agree that processes and systems alone are also inadequate to manage risk and ensure operational performance.

What is the leader’s role in this?


Leaders need to play a larger role in ensuring safety culture; they have the ability to influence and change safety culture attitudes and effectively communicate the vision. In turn, they can set behavioural expectations and use mechanisms for upwards feedback and communication. It is important to establish safety priorities, then reflect and evaluate the priorities regularly.
One cannot have an effective safety culture without an effective workplace culture. Both are directly impacted by leadership and the behaviour of leaders.

Interested in improving safety culture in your organisation? Contact us for more information on how we can help your organisation design, develop and deliver a program designed to enhance your organisational culture.

By Gabrielle Foster


About the author

TMS Consulting