It’s non-stop work. As directors and managers we are continually trying to make our organisations and employees more aware of, and more effective at, health and safety – and more legally compliant.
However we are also continually amazed at how individuals or groups within the organisation continue to behave in obviously ineffective, dangerous and unhealthy ways, often threatening the organisation’s survival.
Research shows that, when we try to change an organisation’s safety culture, people respond in different ways. Thirty per cent will tend to support change and co-operate. Fifty per cent will be neutral and adopt a “wait and see” attitude.
The remaining 20 per cent will generally be against change.
Overcoming this resistance requires safety leadership.
Employees need a new vision of the organisation’s health and safety, and of their role in keeping themselves and others healthy and safe, and keeping the organisation sustainable.
Health and safety leadership defines what the future should look like.
It aligns employees with that vision and inspires them to make it happen despite the obstacles.
Research strongly suggests most organisations today have insufficient health and safety leadership and that they are “over-managed” and “under-led”.
Without safety leadership nothing will change.