One of your biggest challenges as a safety manager may be creating a culture of safety throughout your organization. Making it a company-wide effort instead of just “your job” can be an uphill battle, but it’s a policy that will pay off in the end.

Whether you already have company-wide buy-in or if you’re just beginning to introduce the idea, maximize your success by including these five steps in your safety culture planning:

1. Define safety responsibilities

  • From the top down, make sure everyone understands policies, goals and the vision for your safety culture. Being clear at the outset can make a big difference down the line.
  • Document and share your safety procedures. Don’t soft sell safety. Rules are rules.
  • Delegate responsibilities. Empower workers to be your extra eyes and ears on the plant floor and ask people from different parts of your organization to walk the project or plant floor and make safety recommendations.

2. Make safety a team effort

3. Enforce accountability

  • Educate workers on the importance of reporting accidents and injuries. Remind them that you can’t learn from a mistake if you don’t know about it.
  • Create a process that holds everyone accountable.
  • Color-code PPE by job to increase compliance. For example different colored hard hats can differentiate a worker’s role and his/her level of training such as first aid training or the ability to drive a forklift.

4. Understand your processes

  • Evaluate your current processes and PPE with your workers to make sure you’re doing everything in the best way possible.
  • Understand the challenges and hazards your workers face. Keeping everyone involved is key at this stage.
  • If an incident happens, make sure you identify the root of the issue. Keep lines of communication and an understanding of accountability top of mind for everyone.

5. Celebrate successes