Globally many people are employed in high-risk environments where safe behaviour plays a crucial role in day-to-day tasks. Given the advancements in technology and systems which provide us ample opportunities to improve control in our workplaces, why do injuries, production stoppages, litigations and fatalities still occur? In the safety field, businesses often seek one thing they can do to change their workforce’s behaviour and attitude towards safety.
Thinking in this way diminishes our ability to recognise that the safety culture we pursue is not solely determined by stringent systems, continuous monitoring or effective workplace design. Rather, it is a combination of the above as well as individual behaviours, ownership and accountability toward safety. Together, these elements shape a strong culture where safety is internalised as a core value – an environment where people act in a safe manner because they want to, and not because they feel they have to.
Instead of taking the traditional approach toward behavioural safety (monitoring behaviours and its occurrence), we focus on what drives behaviour, and there are multiple factors we consider. For example, culture, values, perceptions, attitudes and beliefs. We view behaviour as an outcome of these driving factors and focus on holistic solutions to develop safe behaviours which are sustainable.
Our approach toward culture transformation is internally driven on an individual level and offers a supporting methodology that integrates well with existing practices and systems. It differs from conventional Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) practices as it is not as reliant on peer pressure and management policing to deliver results which are not sustainable. Our approach is premised on an engaged and empowered workforce, personal motivation and facilitating an environment where coaching is a key leadership element.
Through the combination and collective knowledge of change management and organisation development principles, the People Driven Safety™ (PDS™) methodology was designed to facilitate organisations through the safety culture transformation journey. The methodology makes use of evidence-based principles to diagnose the current state of an organisation’s safety culture, and tactically design a strategy towards its desired internalised future state.