Leadership commitment is the core component of an effective safety management system. This commitment must exist at the executive level and cascade to all levels of the organisation, including contractors.
Safety should be viewed as a core value – commitment to safety does not change with business pressures. Safety must be integrated into all significant and relevant business decisions.
Management must visibly demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement in safety culture and safety performance and strive to develop an environment of trust through consistent communications and consultation with all employees.
Visible leadership characteristics
Leaders must recognise that the journey to safety excellence either starts at the top or doesn’t start at all. Two key characteristics of this style of leadership are a belief that all injuries are preventable and demonstration of genuine care for all staff.
Leaders can demonstrate their commitment to safety in various ways, some of which are shown below:
- Leading safety meetings;
- Conducting regular safety conversations;
- Personal involvement in incident investigations;
- Enforcing standards;
- Controlling of Hazards and Risks;
- Frequently communicates key aspects of the council safety policy, principles and vision;
- Promoting continuous improvement in the safety journey;
- Allocating resources for safety initiatives.