Skip to Content

Hi , welcome back. Ready to complete your application? Click here »


Safety Culture

A safety culture is a set of shared attitudes, beliefs and practices demonstrated by all levels within an organization.

A positive safety culture connects everyone in an organization to the common goal of reducing or eliminating workplace accidents and related injuries.

A true safety culture is one where everyone feels responsible and accountable for making the work environment safe. In a 1943 paper titled, “A Theory of Human Needs”, American psychologist Abraham Maslow believed that human decision-making is supported by a hierarchy of psychological needs. Maslow’s theory of motivation states that five categories of human needs dictate an individual’s behavior.

Safety is one of those five categories. I believe this theory remains accurate today, and that a healthy and safe work environment impacts employees’ behaviors and decision-making. In a strong safety culture, employees at all levels of the organization buy into what must and should be done to keep a work environment safe and commits to the necessary steps to make that happen.

Common attributes of a workplace with a thriving safety culture include:

  • Leadership commitment
  • Engagement of all levels of the organization
  • Transparency of safety record
  • Ongoing health and safety education
  • Active engagement in health and safety initiatives
  • Employee recognition for positive safety behavior and outcomes
Here are a few tips for how to start building an effective safety culture:
  • Define safety responsibilities - Do this for each level within your organization. This should include values, policies and goals.
  • Share your safety vision - Create a safety vision statement that communicates the safety culture and desired outcomes to all levels of the organization.
  • Enforce accountability - Create expectations and a process that holds everyone throughout the organization accountable for being supportive and involved, especially managers and supervisors. 
  • Make safety part of the performance evaluation for all employees.
  • Reporting options - Provide various options for employees to report safety concerns or issues to management’s attention.
  • Investigation and reporting - Educate all levels of management and employees on the importance of investigating and reporting all accidents, near-misses, and injuries. This will help determine the root cause of near-misses and accidents and the preventive actions to avoid re-occurrence. There should be a ZERO-tolerance policy for management who do not take action when safety concerns are reported.
  • Recognize, reward and celebrate - Commit to on-going efforts to recognize, reward and celebrate individual and organizational health and safety.
  • Walk the talk - Safety in the workplace is everyone’s job. Creating a successful safety culture that protects your most valuable assets, your employees, is a win-win for everyone.
Stay safe and well.

Related Posts

Workers' Comp

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is on the rise across the U.S. Here are some steps you can take towards creating a safer working environment.

Workers' Comp

Empathy in the Workplace

According to a recent study, 96% of employees consider it to be important for their employers to demonstrate empathy, but 92% believe this trait is undervalued in their workplace.

Workers' Comp

Workplace Injury Reporting

When a workplace related injury occurs, it triggers a sequence of events and activities that can last days, weeks, or even months.

Back to top