Safety Culture and Behavioral Safety

Open Wide and Say ‘Safety’

If it’s time for an employee safety attitude checkup, you don’t need to send your workers to the doctor. You can make your own diagnosis with a safety attitude survey.

Safety is largely about actions. But it’s also about attitude. You can observe actions objectively. But it’s harder to see into employees’ heads and hearts and examine their attitude toward workplace safety.

Every employee must be dead serious about safety—or they could end up dead. As well as taking job safety seriously, a positive attitude is reflected by other factors, such as:

  • Being willing to learn about safety and health issues
  • Complying with all safety regulations, rules, and procedures
  • Taking personal responsibility for safety
  • Focusing on and paying attention to tasks
  • Keeping alert to and reporting hazards
  • Participating in training and safety improvement
  • Using required PPE routinely
  • Being concerned about and taking action to protect co-workers’ safety
  • Avoiding risky behavior
  • Reporting accidents, near misses, and hazardous conditions
  • Asking questions to learn more about safety and avoid mistakes that can lead to accidents

 

All of these attitudinal elements add up to a good, safe worker. Lack of too many of them, and you could be looking at an accident waiting to happen. Eventually, a poor safety attitude will reveal itself in unsafe acts—especially when nobody’s looking.

And since neither you nor the company’s supervisors can always be looking, you have to be able to trust employees’ attitudes as well as their skills and knowledge to prevent workplace accidents and injuries.


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Employee Survey

To find out more about your employees’ attitude toward safety, you might consider using an anonymous survey. Anonymity is important because it will ensure more honest answers. Simplicity is important, too. In the sample survey below, for example, all employees have to do is circle the answer (agree or disagree) that best describes their attitude about each statement.

 (By the way, this survey is adapted from an employee handout included in the 7-Minute Safety Trainer session "The Right Attitude Toward Safety." Feel free to adapt it further to suit your workplace and your employees.)

  • I always take safety seriously and make it a priority.

Agree

Disagree

  • I believe a positive safety attitude helps prevent accidents.

Agree

Disagree

  • I recognize workplace safety as a legal and company requirement.

Agree

Disagree

  • I always make full use of safety procedures,  equipment, and information.  

Agree

Disagree

  • I avoid becoming complacent about tasks even if I’ve done them many times before.

Agree

Disagree

  • I always give my full attention to my work and avoid distractions.

Agree

Disagree

  • I never let emotions get in the way of my work.

Agree

Disagree

  • I try to get enough rest before coming to work so that I am not tired on the job.

Agree

Disagree

  • I never take risks, fool around, or act recklessly on the job.

Agree

Disagree

  • I always take safety training seriously, pay attention, and use what I learn on the job.

Agree

Disagree


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  • I always follow safety rules and procedures.

Agree

Disagree

  • I make sure I understand and follow all steps involved in each job I perform every day.

Agree

Disagree

  • I encourage co-workers to work safely and follow safety rules.

Agree

Disagree

  • I always correct or report any hazardous
    conditions I see anywhere in the workplace.

Agree

Disagree

  • I know what to do in an emergency, including my evacuation route and emergency assignment (if any).

Agree

Disagree

  • I always ask questions about hazards or procedures I don’t understand.

Agree

Disagree

  • I volunteer for safety teams, committees, and other safety improvement efforts.

Agree

Disagree

  • I look for and suggest safety improvements.

Agree

Disagree

  • I always cooperate during safety inspections and audits.

Agree

Disagree

  • I always try to set a good safety example.

Agree

Disagree

What’s the Score

There are 20 statements in this survey. Give 5 points for each "agree" and 0 points for each "disagree."

  • A score of 80-100 indicates a good to excellent safety attitude.
  • A score of 55-75 indicates a safety attitude in need of improvement.
  • A score of 50 or below means a poor safety attitude and a serious risk of an accident on the job.

 

Ideally, your survey will reveal high scores throughout the workplace. A significant number of low scores, however, requires immediate attention. The 7-Minute Safety Trainer’s "The Right Attitude Toward Safety" is the perfect Rx for ailing safety attitudes. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s effective! And even if your survey reveals good attitudes, why not consider refresher training to keep it that way?

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