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What is Safety Culture?

June 19, 2019 BY Neil Brunetz

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So what exactly is safety culture? Therein lies part of the problem. Safety culture is not exact, but a collection of attitudes and practices existing in an organization related to the commitment, type and effectiveness of health and safety matters. Sometimes it is simply referred to as how we do things around here.

Historically, safety culture arose as a result of accidents or near misses. Think big issues: Cernobyl, Three-Mile Island and plane crashes. These types of accidents arose out of what are called broken safety cultures. There are a number of reasons or factors that may contribute to a broken safety culture. This can include: non-compliance with standards, policies, and procedures; failures to communicate; ineffective implementation and leadership; profit before safety attitudes, also can be speed before safety; and fear and ignorance.

So what is an effective safety culture? There is no one effective safety culture, just as there is not just one type of manufacturing facility of production line. A goal of an effective safety culture is to create an environment where everyone involved has input and understanding of the risks and dangers around them and is trained to prevent, avoid and correct potention hazards in the workplace. There is no perfect system, but an environment that prevents a single mistake from leading to a serious accident is a good organizational goal. Creating a safety environment where mistakes can happen, but we identify and correct before it becomes a safety hazard is a good place to start.

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Mr. Brunetz has experience working as an outside general counsel for a technology company assisting the company in negotiating and finalizing NDAs, SaaS agreements and technology development agreements as well as many other aspects of the company’s business. His legal experience also includes  courtroom representation of clients in civil litigation matters, including personal injury, wrongful death, workers' compensation, construction, contract, commercial disputes, and malpractice actions. 

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