Versa’s Safety Values & Culture
Our safety culture is the collection of the beliefs, perceptions and values that everyone shares in relation to safety within Versa. Simply put, this is how Versa views safety as a whole. Our safety culture can be divided into seven categories that can be observed, measured, and corrected if need be. Each category is equally as important as the next. As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If we let one link of our safety culture fail the rest are useless.
Our management must play an active role in and be committed to maintaining the integrity of our safety culture. Safety must be perceived as value in the eyes of our leadership. When issues or concerns are raised about safety, management work with employees to find an effective solution in a timely manner. Management must walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to safety.
There must be a consistent and open two-way dialog concerning safety between employees and management. In order to have an effective safety culture, employees must feel comfortable speaking to management about safety concerns, near misses, accidents and incidents. If a manager is known to be unapproachable he/she will not hear about hazards until it is too late.
Employees must be given the opportunity to play an active role in their own safety. This is very important as it helps build ownership of the safety program and gives knowledge and perspective from the field. Some ways to involve employees are forming committees, holding town hall meetings, Stop Work Authority, and hazard analysis.
Training & Information
Employees must feel confident that they have been properly trained in recognizing the hazards and risks associated with the tasks that they perform. Training must be effective in meeting the needs of both employees and managers. All safety related documents and information must be easily accessible to everyone in the company in case reference is needed.
Just like anything else, a strong safety culture takes proper motivation. Motivation can come in the form of positive feedback when an employee demonstrates good safety practices or through recognition given when a hazard is recognized and mitigated before an incident occurs. Another way of maintaining motivation is to hold everyone accountable to the same standards without exceptions. This includes managers.
Compliance with Procedures
Employees and managers should be well trained on procedures and rules that they are expected to follow. It is helpful to have procedures created with input from the employees who will use them, this will encourage ownership and ownership will encourage compliance.
When unsafe acts, unsafe conditions, near misses or incidents are reported, it is important that we take time to discuss the issues learn from them. What we learn should be shared throughout the company and feedback should be encouraged. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of the same issue happening again.