Safety is a top priority in every company. Rules, regulations, procedures and personal protective equipment are well established. But safety is much more than that. For workforces to ‘breathe’ safety, we also need to focus on employee behaviour and attitude. ‘Safety in the mind’ creates a durable change in mentality.
No-one willingly sets out to cause an accident or to act unsafely, but still the large majority of accidents is caused by human factors.
Part of this can be explained by lack of knowledge, technical skills or not knowing the rules or procedures, but lots of it is ultimately down to human behaviour. Research has shown that a whopping 95% of behaviour is prompted by unconscious automatic processes. Many more accidents can therefore be explained by such non-rational factors. But the good news is... we can use these exact same mechanisms to carry our safety culture much, much further.
At the end of this process, employees will:
- have a well-established insight into non-rational factors that play a part in safety behaviour, inside (in the workplace) as well as outside a professional context (at home, during the commute);
- see the necessity of keeping an eye on these factors, for themselves and in their team, and employing the ‘collective mind’;
- be able to determine for themselves what objectives they want to achieve in this and in what way they will start working with these;
- have acquired a safety mentality, inside and outside the company.
Safety in the mind departs from a process approach with the following steps:
- activating and strengthening the role of management in cultural changes: managers gain an overview of process steps, insights in underlying concepts and a clear image of how best to take up their role in this;
- blue-collar and/or white-collar workers are divided into small groups during four short sessions, where we will focus on awareness of non-rational behaviour on the one side and stimulate their involvement in safety culture on the other;
- strengthening the collective safety mind: “We won’t allow anyone of us to behave in an unsafe way!”;
- keeping the issue permanently on the radar through scheduled team follow-up.
This approach is preferably directed at a department’s or site’s entire workforce.