Building a culture of safety involves changing existing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. This can be a difficult task that requires the commitment of management leaders and workers. In positive cultures, safety goals are clearly stated. Decisions are made with full awareness of their impact on work or business processes and safety performance.
Communicate Your Program
When it comes to culture change, communication is a crucial element. Everyone must be on the same page, whether it’s an email, an eLearning course, or a newsletter article. Keeping your company’s safety policies clear and readily available increases business accountability, transparency, and openness. Ensure that every employee, from the senior management down, is on board with your new commercial driver safety program. This is essential because people will notice if their managers talk but don’t “walk the walk” when enforcing safety policies. The top positions need to lead by example if you want your employees to buy into the new culture. Once all drivers’ initial training and qualifications have been completed, ensure that a regular retraining or refresher course is scheduled to keep safety in everyone’s mind. This is an excellent opportunity to highlight the value of your safety program and provide updates on any improvements you’ve made since your last training session. It’s also an opportunity to provide feedback on any safety-related issues impacting productivity and morale. A formal process or chain of command should be in place to allow all employees to voice any concerns. Ensure that any safety-related issues are addressed as quickly and effectively as possible to avoid negative impacts on your culture.
Educating your drivers about the importance of building a safety culture is the first step in developing and sustaining a company-wide program that will produce positive results. To achieve this, start by identifying all workers driving company business, whether making daily sales calls or weekly trips to the office supply store. Next, provide initial training to those in management and supervisory positions, union leadership (if you have one), and any other vital employees you’ve identified. This may include safety and health training, team-building, hazard recognition, and communication training. This will help to ensure that these individuals are ready to take a proactive role in influencing the company’s culture. Once the initial training has been completed, you’ll want to regularly communicate the importance of your company-wide safety program. Ensure that your messaging is consistent and that all levels of management buy into the message that safety is a top priority for your company. Lastly, reward drivers who show an exemplary commitment to your company’s and its customers’ safety. This could be through monetary or other rewards, such as the chance to be featured in a company newsletter or announcement. When drivers see that their efforts are recognized, they’ll know that your company values safety.
Giving drivers a reason to participate in your safety program is essential; rewards are a great way to do this. Please set up a system where drivers can earn safety bonuses based on their performance and post the program’s rules in a location that’s easy for everyone to see. The best way to reward drivers for their efforts is to hand them cash and provide experiences and other items they’ll value. This includes barbeque or picnic outings, gift cards, or a company-wide recognition event. It’s also essential to offer an extended timeframe for qualifying for these rewards so drivers don’t feel rushed or demotivated. In addition to incentives, it’s also a good idea to implement a program where drivers can share in the savings realized by avoiding accidents and other costly incidents. It’s a great way to get the whole team involved in the conversation and make everyone realize that their work directly impacts the company’s bottom line. Another key to a thriving safety culture is to make it clear that all employees are responsible for identifying and reporting any potential hazards or unsafe behaviors that they see.
A good safety culture ensures that the arrangements to control health and safety risks are fully understood and acted upon. This requires the knowledge that what is meant to happen is reflected in what happens, with poor custom and practice not allowed to persist and new behaviors encouraged and promoted. People are aware of safety issues at this stage and help managers manage them. There is no conflict between production and safety goals, and the organization proactively identifies and resolves problems. Employees are involved in decision-making concerning the impact on safety, and they understand the need for collaboration across departments and functions. Encourage feedback from your drivers, particularly on the effectiveness of your current program and how it might be improved. Identify the preferred method for receiving feedback and set up regular opportunities to receive it. For example, hold safety meetings to discuss incidents and how they might have been prevented. Also, start a safety recognition program that rewards drivers for reaching certain accident-free milestones. This can be a great way to demonstrate your commitment to improving safety and getting your drivers on board. Lastly, ensure the company has enough resources to invest in its safety efforts.