Essay on Safety Culture Safety culture is a complex structure in an organization that includes values and attitudes most of which are potentially changeable and related to actual accident behavior. The components of safety culture included organizational commitment, management involvement, employee empowerment, reporting system, and rewarding system. After giving brief introduction about safety culture let me divide my essay into* Introduction part * explanation about safety culture * Summary & conclusion. Introduction: Effective safety management in the twenty-first century involves paying attention to human factors as system components with as much potential to cause, or save, dangerous system states as technical components. By paying attention to human factors, highly reliable organizations can identify and capture potential hazards before they manifest as accidents. One method of achieving this is by measuring the state of safety through so -called ‘leading’ indicators such as safety culture or safety climate.
The rapid development of new technology has essentially changed the nature of work and has increased the complexity of systems within many of industries. Hence, the world becomes increasingly complicated. These complex systems require a tight combination between technical and human subsystems. In this sense, the failure of either subsystem can often cause a failure of the entire system. Moreover, catastrophic breakdowns of these systems create serious threats, not only for those within the organization, but also for the surrounding public.
Simultaneously, the accidents that occur in workplaces have also become more complex and in some cases more frequent In fact, increased technological dependence has led to bigger accidents, involving more people, and greater damage to property and the environment. It has become clear that such vulnerability does not originate from just human error, technological failures, or environmental factors alone. Rather, it is the fixed organizational policies and standards which have repeatedly been shown to predate the catastrophe.
Therefore, safety practitioners in recent years have begun to focus on the organizational values that might enhance risk and crisis management and safe performance in industries complex conditions. Some peoples believed that culture and technology actually go hand in hand. In this scene, culture is said to be the very heart of organizations. It consists of attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, and values, which need to be set in context.
In the face of new mandates, it is believed that culture can play a vital role in helping organizations respond to the many challenges they face now. According to this study in an era of increasing competition and scarce resources, maximizing safety performance is a critical issue for managers in the organizations and industries. This study believes that strong and positive safety culture as the powerful apprentice can work in the region of constraints to produce high-quality results. Also, strong and positive safety culture can improve safety performance in the workplaces.
Hence, researchers and business strategists who study the Organizational culture and safety phenomenon also believe that strong safety culture in large measure initiatives drive safety performance. In general, most industrial companies established occupational safety procedures and policies. However, most accidents and incidents in Iranian industries are a direct result of not adhering to their established safety procedures, as well as lack of strong safety culture, safe working conditions, and employees’ safe work attitudes and actions.
Thus, the participation of all employees including managers and non-managers is vital in policymaking, establishing, and implementing a feedback system that drives continuously toward safety improvement in industrial companies to achieve a successful safety program. It must be mentioned that safety culture has an important role in reducing occupational accidents in industry. The current situation of safety in the metal products industry shows that there was room for improvement of safety by the management in the implementation the safety procedures. Safety Culture: A safety culture exists within an organization where each individual employee, regardless of their position, accepts and assumes an active role in error prevention and that role is supported by the organization. In fact, safety culture is a set of guidelines’ beliefs that by which group of individuals guided in their behavior by their joint belief in the importance of safety, and their shared understanding that every member willingly upholds the group’s safety norms and will support other members to that common end.
The safety culture as an important phrase and concept came to prominence following a number of major accidents in the late 1990s. The current interest in the term safety culture can be traced directly back to the Bhopal disaster in 1984. They mentioned that conceptualizations and definitions of safety culture have been derived mainly from the more general notion of organizational culture. safety culture is defined as a set of beliefs, norms, attitudes, roles, and social and technical practices that are concerned with minimizing the exposure of employees, managers, and members of the public to conditions considered dangerous or injurious. y considering commonalties among the various definitions of safety culture; a global definition can be formulated. The safety culture is the enduring value and priority placed on worker and public safety by everyone in every group at every level of an organization. so many peoples are stated in there own way what safety culture is but finally the safety culture refers to a complex structure that includes values and attitudes, most of which are potentially changeable and relate to actual accident behavior.
Also, safety culture refers to the extent to which individuals and groups will commit to personal responsibility for safety, act to preserve, enhance and communicate safety concerns, strive to actively learn, adapt and modify both individual and organizational behavior based on lessons learned from mistakes, and be rewarded in a manner consistent with these values. Therefore, safety culture is assumed to be a component of an organization that can be improved rather than simply instilled.
Obviously, such a distinction is important when it comes to both measuring and changing safety culture within organizations. The literature of organizational safety supports the inclusion of several aspects of an organization to describe the components of safety culture. Studies have indicated that safety culture is best considered as a multidimensional concept. Few studies have been designed to capture multiple components of safety culture as it has been defined in the literature.
Apart from those arguments, the most current components of safety culture in terms of this study introduced in five major components that are such as (i) organizational commitment, which is a subset of organizational factors, denoting the extent to which upper level management demonstrates positive and supportive safety values, attitudes and behaviors. (ii) Management involvement that is contingent on management’s physical approach to safety For instance, direct involvement of upper and middle level management, in safety meetings, and workshops or in safety oversight.
It also, refers to the extent to which both upper and middle level managers get personally involved in critical safety activities within the company. (iii) Employee empowerment pertains to the responsibility placed on employees by upper level management and the degree to which that responsibility authorizes or motivates employees to have safe behavior. In a general sense employee empowerment refers to the extent of employees’ ability to perform their functions accurately. (iv) Reporting systems that can prevent many of occupational accidents, which can not be compensated.
The free and uninhibited reporting of safety issues that come to the attention of employees during the course of their daily activities is an important facet of an effective reporting culture. Reporting system is one of the necessary elements for successful safety management that control and support safety processes, Such system evaluates and intends in improving safety, and limiting occupational accidents. (v) Rewarding systems that refers to the manner in which both safe and unsafe behaviors and activities in companies are evaluated and the consistency in which rewards or penalties are doled out according to these evaluations.
Hence, a fair evaluation and reward system is needed to promote safe behaviors and discourage or correct unsafe behaviors. Through reward systems, the safety culture in organizations is maintained. Behaviors that are rewarded will be repeated and safety behavior will be modified. As the safety culture is a subset of the overall organizational culture. It is one of the most stable and substantial forces within organizations, shaping the way members think, behave, and approach their work. In short, it represents an organization’s unique style of operation.
Furthermore, positive and strong safety culture is a comprehensive set of values such as commitment of the organization, particularly senior management, to the achievement of a high standard of safety, and the demonstration of this commitment through communications and maintenance, consistent management response to incidents, consistent decision making, reward and approval systems, allocation of resources training, a caring management attitude, acceptance of the participative safety controls etc.
Hence, positive and strong safety culture implies that the people involved, share similar perceptions and adopt the same positive attitudes towards safety. are such as (i) organizational commitment, (ii) management involvement, (iii) employee empowerment, (iv) report system, and (v) reward system. But there are some other components that make up an effective safety culture. Based on existed literature, important elements to the development of positive and strong safety culture are such as strategic and action plan to integrate safety that looks for integrate safety into all aspects of activities in companies.
Risk control system is the second element of a basic foundation for positive and strong safety culture is the presence and quality of the industry’s risk control systems. Safety management information system as the third element and foundation for positive and strong safety culture is the presence and quality of safety management information system in companies. Safety management system is the fourth important element of positive and strong safety culture that is the extent to which safety management systems in companies are reviewed.
Integrated job and safety training is the fifth essential element for positive and strong safety culture that refers to the extent of high quality integrated job and safety training that every employee receives. Attitude to safety values as the sixth element of positive and strong safety culture reveals that safety culture should be well based in a company that is the existence of a good attitude to safety values among its employees. Visible indication of senior safety staff is important as the seventh element of a positive and strong safety culture.
Hence, that is the position of senior safety staff in a company’s organizational hierarchy that gives a visible indication of the importance emotionally involved to safety culture. Communication as the eighth element of positive and strong safety culture is the ability to effectively communicate with employees, though not an easy skill to master for managers; it is an obvious requirement for good leadership. Organizational learning as the ninth element of positive and strong safety culture is defined as a change of goal directed behavior based on experience.
Continuous learning is the tenth element for a strong and positive and strong safety culture in a company, which makes safety culture as a dynamic phenomenon in work life safety. After giving this much of information let me conclude my writing with conclusion statement, *Conclusion: Improving safety by improving safety culture presents a clear way forward for the different industries. Among those industries the metal products industry in the pioneer in promoting a consistent national standard to improve safety competency for key safety positions.