Changing Your Safety Culture…Expect Resistance



How would you define a positive safety culture? 

API RP 1173 defines a positive safety culture as one in which employees and contractors collaborate, have positive attitudes toward compliance (meeting and exceeding standards) and feel responsible for public safety and each other’s safety.

Sounds easy, right?  Any organization who has taken the steps to improve their safety culture will tell you it’s not an easy process to begin and it can be difficult to maintain momentum.  That is because modifying culture takes deep levels of commitment and work.  There are hurdles along the way that can make you feel you’ve completely stalled in your efforts.  Here are a couple tips for those embracing this journey.

• Expect resistance and practice resilience. People don’t like change.  Empower everyone with being responsible for the safety of themselves and their peers.  This requires trust, respect and a certain level of autonomy.  Remember, tolerating unsafe behaviors can ultimately reward resistance.  Say what they need to hear, do what they need to see and repeat it – continuously.  People will eventually see the new way and follow your lead.

• Avoid complacency. Detailed planning in high-risk, hazardous environments is always wise, but we must anticipate the unexpected.  Avoid getting too comfortable with the belief that your culture is strong enough to prevent accidents.  Success is the greatest enemy of safety culture because where there is success, complacency is usually not far behind.  Work to continually integrate safety into every aspect of your operations and NEVER let up.

As human nature goes, changing behaviors, habits and protocols is often quite challenging. Patience and determination is key in this journey.  Every organization presents unique challenges, but G2 Integrated Solutions is experienced in overcoming the obstacles you will face and is committed to providing you with the tools you need to embark and succeed on the journey of improving your safety culture.