Today’s software for auditing and inspecting makes it possible to gain more value from those processes than ever before. You can make them easier to perform, and you can mine the resulting data to guide proactive safety strategies.
But any tool for safety auditing and inspecting—whether it’s software or simply paper checklists—won’t achieve maximum ROI if the people using it don’t prioritize safety.
In the day-to-day operations of any enterprise, demands on time, resources, and energy often cause lapses in safety best practices, including audits and inspections. That’s bad for business!
And that’s why investing in an audit/inspection tool such as The Checker Software isn’t enough. You need the right safety resources, but you also need to develop a safety culture.
Convince; Don’t Just Tell
Creating a true safety culture isn’t easy. Many companies with the best of intentions take steps such as:
- trying to identify a person’s mindset toward safety before hiring them
- codifying safety procedures
- issuing materials describing those procedures
- supplying all personnel with adequate PPE
- providing mandatory, ongoing safety training
- following through on consequences for not following safety requirements
- sufficiently spending on health and safety.
But, while all these steps are essential, they don’t create a safety culture. That’s why—even in companies who take these steps and fully appreciate their importance—incidence rates remain higher than they could be.
One thing is often not sufficiently considered—internally convincing personnel of the importance of safety. That’s not the same as communicating the importance of safety. Communicating is “telling.” It informs, but it doesn’t necessarily move people. The safest organizations get their personnel to become “true believers.”
It’s a Top-Down Effect
When management personnel genuinely value safety and understand it’s human and financial importance, that conviction will spread. When every message that employees receive —formally or informally—says safety is a top priority, following safety procedures will become more than a requirement. Being safe will become as much a part of the job as showing up in the morning.
Of course, you should take every step you can to communicate the importance of safety and the consequences of unsafe behaviours. You should invest in useful safety tools. And you should develop and enforce safety procedures, such as audits and inspections.
But don’t forget about getting in the head of all employees that safety is vital. Consistently emphasize it. Words on paper or a training seminar can quickly fade from importance, but actions and real organizational commitment will send a lasting message. If you have this in your organization—and you support it with the “mechanical” aspects of safety such as audit/inspection software—your safety culture will be in place.
And your business will be much the better for it.
In addition to investing in health & safety initiatives and communicating H&S requirements, the safest enterprises think of developing a safety mindset in all employees as an internal issue of motivating personnel to buy-in. They inspire people to be safe.