Communication is key.  Starting from the top down.  Safety as a first priority requires constant positive communication.  Having a plant-wide safety meeting after an accident happens is a must, but having plant-wide communication that allows a potential hazard to be identified and corrected before the accident happens is better.  And by better I mean more cost effective and morale boosting.

Leadership has to be front and center in defining the safety culture, communicating the culture, providing opportunities for everyone to participate in the culture, and enforcing the culture. 

Here are a couple of easy examples:

  1.  A 5 minutes start of shift safety talk on a piece of equipment or a process.
  2. A conversation with supervisors about a safety topic with the understanding those supervisors will have the same conversation with other employees during the day.
  3. Have supervisors or even better, management, ask employees on the floor what concerns them.

Even more importantly is that action based on these steps is taken, communicated and acknowledged.  Showing that safety considerations are taken into account and acted on encourages involvement by others.

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