HR Matters - Spring 2014 - (Page 16)

NDOELJINDOEL/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK HR Feature Building an Effective Safety Culture By Judy Murphy Judy Murphy is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Safety Services Manitoba (SSM), a training and consulting organization specializing in occupational and road safety. Together we can create safer and more productive companies companies that retain workers, have less absenteeism, meet customer deadlines and control costs. 16 HR matters * Spring 2014 "T he times they are a-changin," said Bob Dylan in 1964. In 2014 and beyond, safety in Manitoba certainly is "a-changin." The release of Manitoba's FiveYear Plan for Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention has set out a strategy "to make Manitoba a nationally recognized health and safety leader." This ambitious vision may leave human resource business leaders with more questions than answers. How does our business contribute to this vision? Is safety really part of our workplace culture? If not, how can we help to make it so? How will this provincial emphasis on workplace safety affect us? What is our business case for safety? I would be hard-pressed not to believe that every person, no matter their role, wants each and every one of their colleagues to return home safely at the end of every day. However, in some cases, deadline pressures, carelessness, and lack of a good safety culture create risks that leave businesses and the individuals who work in them vulnerable to incidents. These factors also leave the business and its leadership open to fines, stop-work orders and even criminal prosecutions. We have already seen Workplace Safety and Health increase the number of its inspections as of late, and according to the five-year plan penalties will continue to become tougher. All of these changes can result in missed customer deadlines, increased staff turnover, increased costs and declining reputation. The fundamental question for human resource leaders is: what is the quality of our safety culture? It is easy to dismiss this fundamental piece if there have been few or no incidents in your company. However, it still begs the question: is your incident-free workplace the result of good safety management or luck? Are we doing everything we can to ensure that we have effectively reduced our risks? Building an effective safety culture requires a number of factors that all need to work together. Executive Commitment: There must be a commitment to safety from the top. Senior leadership can demonstrate their commitment by ensuring the following: a. Including safety as an agenda item at all executive team and board meetings; b. Talking about safety when addressing staff; c. Welcoming, and encouraging, the identification of hazards and unsafe situations; d. Emphasizing that safety does not operate in a silo - all departments must be equally committed to safe operations; e. Establishing a culture of looking out for one another, of good mental health and of being concerned with the safety of all colleagues; and, f. Providing the resources to ensure that staff  has the knowledge and the skills

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Matters - Spring 2014

HRMAM Chair’s Message
Upcoming HRMAM Events
HR Special Event: Excellence in Leadership Awards Recipients
Learnings from Our Governance Review Retreat
Building an Effective Safety Culture
HR & Business: Hiring Foreign Workers? Take the Right Steps
HR & Business: Finance-led Capitalism, Pensions, and Financial Crisis
HR Review: The Respect Effect
Workplace Bullying: Do You Have Honest and Strong Boundaries?
HR & Law: Just Cause Under The Employment Standards Code: Have You Got What It Takes?
The Pursuit of Employee Engagement
HR Movers and Shakers

HR Matters - Spring 2014