• Arkib Berita
  • 2015
  • Joint effort to foster safety culture at the workplace - The Star Online
Slider

Joint effort to foster safety culture at the workplace - The Star Online

The Star Online, 05 October 2015 - TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE ,NIOSH Chairman

ACCIDENTS are defined as unplanned occurrences which result in injuries, fatalities, loss of production or damage to property and assets. Preventing accidents is extremely difficult in the absence of an understanding of the causes of accidents.

In every workplace, workers and employers want to feel safe and healthy. Developing strong safety and health cultures at the workplace has the greatest impact on accident reduction.

There is no single definition of “a safety culture”. The term first arose after the investigation of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 which led to safety culture being defined as “an organisational atmosphere where safety and health is understood to be, and is accepted as, the number one priority”.

There is no single definition of “a safety culture”. The term first arose after the investigation of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 which led to safety culture being defined as “an organisational atmosphere where safety and health is understood to be, and is accepted as, the number one priority”.

A culture is an environment with a philosophy that permeates the daily activities of the organisation. Safety and health do not exist in a vacuum. Other aspects of the organisation, including people and financial management, impact safety. Therefore, a safety culture must be part of the overall corporate culture to be understood and accepted as a high priority.

All leaders should be responsible for shaping the overall culture in their organisations given their critical role in creating and maintaining a safe workplace.

For a safety culture to develop and be successful, it needs to be initiated and led from the top – that is safety needs to be embraced and practised by key decision-makers within the organisation. By developing a culture of trust and encouraging open and informed conversations about safety, leaders can create an environment where workers have a positive attitude towards safety and be empowered to challenge unsafe behaviours in others.

Safety culture is not merely a collection of policies and programmes. Things like an Accident Prevention programme, Injury and Illness Prevention programmes, Personal Protective Equipment programmes (PPE) and ergonomic programmes can be components of a safety culture and may even be a regulatory necessity.

The following are commonly recognised elements required to create and nurture a safety culture:

1. Commitment (buy-in) at all levels to embrace safety.

2. Acceptance of safety as an investment, not a cost.

3. Integration of safety into continuous process improvement.

4. Training and information for all in respect of safety.

5. System for hazard prevention and control.

Culture is a combination of factors related to attitudes, behaviours, beliefs, values, ways of doing things, and other shared characteristics of a particular group of people.

Culture can define influence, determine values, and socialise newcomers.

Culture can define influence, determine values, and socialise newcomers.According to the Occupational Safety and Health Master Plan for Malaysia 2015 (OSH-MP15), it is expected that by the end of 2015, the Malaysian workforce should be ready to enter the stage of preventive culture. It is for this reason that fostering occupational safety and health (OSH) culture at the workplace is important for all employers.

Safety training for employees is the key to achieving a successful safety programme and management must be committed to invest in safety. The focal point of OSH training is the human being who needs protection in all aspects of his life.

An accident prevention strategy should therefore be adopted by all companies. To achieve the total promotion of safety and health at work and elsewhere, organisational measures for accident prevention, motivation and behavioural change must be adopted. It is therefore their responsibility to ensure that safety is a culture at their organisation, not just a priority.

A Total Safety Culture is the ultimate vision of a safety-improvement mission. In a Total Safety Culture, everyone feels responsible for safety and pursues it on a daily basis. At work, employees go beyond “the call of duty” to identify environmental hazards and at-risk behaviours and intervene to correct them. In a Total Safety Culture, safety is not a priority that gets shifted according to situational demands. Rather, safety is a value linked to all situational priorities.

In line with its objective to enhance and promote the good practices of Occupational Safety and Health at the workplace, NIOSH is hosting the 18th Conference of Occupational Safety and Health from Oct 4 till Oct 7 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

The theme for the 18th COSH is “Fostering An OSH Culture at the Workplace”, emphasising the need for greater joint efforts by the Government, employers and employees to reduce workplace accidents and work towards the goal of zero-accident at the work-place.

 

Cetak Emel