Safety leadership

“We work safely because that is how our leaders work.”

Management are a key influence of an organisation's safety culture.  Research has found that employee perceptions of management's attitudes and behaviours towards safety, production, and other issues are the most useful measurement of an organisation's safety culture.

SAFEA commitment to safety at the top of an organisation is the first and vital ingredient in achieving excellent safety performance. Without organisational commitment to safety, individuals and groups within the organisation will also find it difficult to commit.  

The safety commitment of senior management should be clearly visible to front line workers, through communication of safety goals and objectives along with regular meetings devoted to safety issues.

Senior managers may support safety through indirect means such as establishing safety policies and procedures.  Companies should also ensure that senior managers spend adequate time on safety issues with front line employees, otherwise employees may question whether management are truly committed to safety.

Supervisors may act as the link between management and workers, by monitoring worker compliance to safety and providing feedback to workers concerning their behaviour.

Further information

SAFE: Safety appraisals for everyone is a Hearts and Minds tool designed to improve safety leadership.  It is a 360 degree appraisal tool to help leaders gain feedback on their behaviour.

However, other tools can also help improve safety leadership: