Seven top tips to a positive organisational health and safety culture

Seven ways to maintain a positive organisational health and safety culture during the covid-19 pandemic

Many organisations have had to make some very rapid changes in response to the pandemic. These may have put pressure on their occupational health and safety (OSH) culture, affecting how their working environments, systems, procedures and people interact.

Maintaining a positive OSH culture remains important in motivating, supporting and valuing workers.

Here are some tips for maintaining a positive safety culture.

  1. Lead by example: senior managers should keep up to date with the latest government guidance and take the necessary steps to keep their workers safe.
  2. Communicate constructively about any necessary steps or changes. Give regular updates to keep workers informed on safety matters, but avoid over-communicating.
  3. Maintain openness and honesty about any financial pressures and other organisational concerns. Directness with workers on the organisation’s approach and response to the crisis will have a positive influence on their values, beliefs and attitudes.
  4. Listen: make opportunities for workers to voice their concerns and provide answers.
  5. Be clear about any variances in changes or activities across different parts of the organisation, but keep in mind any worker vulnerabilities and personal circumstances.
  6. Uphold: apply a risk-based approach to new ways of working without undermining previous good practice. Any workplace modifications should make workers feel better protected. Continue to keep workers informed in operational OSH decisions.
  7. Manage workers’ health: ensure workers understand procedures in place for sickness or absence and any new reporting expectations. Include any support tools available within the organisation as well as from external sources.