Question: “How do you change the safety culture in the work place when the budget is always the issue held above employee safety?”
Answer: Executives get excited about things they understand and see as valuable—your executives do not value safety.
That means, they need education.
First, you’ve got to show them the money…how much are you spending on workers comp? How much is training costing you in terms of lost productivity and wages & benefits? Which injuries are frequent and expensive?
Your executives will pay attention to ideas for saving money or lowering operational expenses. That kind of talk gets noticed.
Once you know how much safety is costing your organization, you can draw a straight line to safety improvements that result in cost reduction. If you can then demonstrate a return on safety investments/improvements, you can make the case for reinvesting in your safety program.
Jill’s written a bunch on this topic because it’s such a pervasive problem, so here’s what we’ve got…
- Workers Compensation & Workplace Safety: Making Dollars & Sense Of It
- Understanding Safety Leadership for CEOs & Management Teams
- Get Your CEO To Support Safety With “The Curve” Approach
Need more? We’ve written the book on this subject: How To Get Senior Leadership Buy-In
Most importantly…don’t give up on this!
You know how important it is. It may sound impossible, but if you don’t try, who will? You might find colleagues who feel as you do, and that building a coalition for inter-organizational change isn’t as hard you might be thinking now.
Another idea would be to gather information about safety attitudes, to expose the problem.
If you’re interested, we have a Safety Engagement Survey that’s perfect for this. It’s online, takes 5 minutes, and works on mobile devices.