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Safety Culture Research Assignment: Findings and Discussions (Other (Not Listed) Sample)

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the task was to present a report on workplace safety culture. this sample articulates issues in organizational safety culture and presents recommendations.

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Content:
Safety Culture
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Table of Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Executive summary PAGEREF _Toc493069308 \h 3Introduction PAGEREF _Toc493069309 \h 3Findings and discussions PAGEREF _Toc493069310 \h 4Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc493069311 \h 10Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc493069312 \h 14References PAGEREF _Toc493069313 \h 15
Executive summary
The safety of the workplace is of the essence because the businesses do undertake activities that possibly expose the employees to things like accidents and injuries. There are several legal frameworks that govern the safety of the workplace and that compel the businesses to make sure the working environment is safe for the employee. Other than this legal obligation, the management and leadership of the businesses do recognize that the productivity of the employees is determined by the conditions in which they work. They also realize that accidents are costly, and it is better to prevent them that bear the costs of their occurrence. Consider, for example, an accident in a mining company. Collapsing of a mining site could burry even hundreds of workers, and what would follow is costly legal suits and costly loss of reputation. A safety culture, as will be seen herein, is often developed to help the companies take care of such incidences.
Introduction
Safety in the workplace is something of utmost importance. The commitment of the management to safety is also critical as this is often the starting point for achieving the safety goals. It should be understood that safety is necessary for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is essential to maintain a healthy workforce that can deliver good result for the company, and this is where safety excellence would require the personnel to be engaged in devising the safety measures for the workplace CITATION Fre101 \l 2057 (French & Geller, 2010). Their engagement is tantamount to their acceptance and embracement of the safety framework. Secondly, safety is one of the risk management approaches that an organization can use to minimize risks arising from accidents, injuries, and deaths in the workplace. There is, to a certain level, cost implications on the employer should these risks occur.
Lastly, there is a legal obligation for the employer to maintain safety in the workplace. There are various laws that require the employers make sure that the workplace is safe and that the activities therein do not harm the employees. The Health and Safety Executive CITATION Hea09 \n \t \l 2057 (2009) has published the basics of the legal obligations for the employers to maintain a safe working environment, and the basic statement herein is that all workers do have a right to work in workplaces whereby the risks to their safety and health are properly controlled. There is also a list presented herein on what the employers are legally obligated to do, and these things include deciding what could harm a worker in a job and taking precautions to stop it, and to provide equipment and protective gear and clothing to all employees as per the level of risk from a proper assessment. Another illustration can be obtained from the Work Health and safety Act 2012 in South Australia. In division 2 of this Act – primary duty of care, there are provisions whose basic statement is that all businesses must ensure health and safety of their workers CITATION Sou171 \l 2057 (South Australian Government, 2017).
This report focuses on the safety practices and situation at Bruno Smallgoods where there has been displayed a need to develop a safety culture. The current situation is that despite the leadership’s commitment to safety, the employees show no such commitment, and this makes the workplace a hazardous place to work. The primary efforts illustrated herein will be geared towards the creation of a safety culture that will work to lower the safety risks as currently perceived by the company’s CEO.
Findings and discussions
The concept of organizational safety is of interest to both the managers and organizational theorists CITATION Lyn08 \l 2057 (Lyneis & Madnick, 2008), and this is often because it affects the organizations a great deal. Apparently, the concept of safety in the workplace is associated with the prevention of accidents where some theorists discuss it in the context of risk management. It is important to notice that in case an accident occurs in an organization, this becomes news for the media and topics of discussion in the social media, and this caused reputational risks to the organization. Building a safety culture in an organization often begins with an understanding of what safety culture is.
Theorists have defined the term safety culture differently. Safety culture as a concept has been in existence since 1986 when the term was first used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in reporting the Chernobyl incident CITATION Cox981 \l 2057 (Cox & Flin, 1998). After this, it has been used extensively in discussing other major inquiries and analyses of failures in safety, for example, Piper Alpha oil explosion among others. Herein, the discussion has been about the ‘poor safety culture’ of these organizations. It also becomes apparent that the term safety culture has in many cases used synonymously with safety climate, even though there exist literature showing these two concepts to be different. It has been shown that the term culture replaced the term climate in the 1980s, whereby the term climate used to imply the set of perceptual and psychological attributes. Other researchers tell the difference between the two terms by illustrating that they are part of the organization’s social system that comprises of organizational culture, social structure, organizational climate and work relations. All these are mutually related, but they are distinguishable CITATION Gul00 \l 2057 (Guldenmund, 2000).
The general concept of safety culture has been hard to understand because in some industries, safety has been so much embedded into the organization. However, the simple definition of safety culture, according to HudsonCITATION Hud991 \n \t \l 2057 (1999), is “a way of ensuring high levels of safety performance in organisations” (p. 1). The key to defining the safety culture is the understanding of the concept of culture, which again has also been hard to define. The term culture, as a general definition, implies the shared values deeply embedded in the lives of a group of people, and that tend to form the backdrop against which all events get judged CITATION Min07 \l 2057 (Minsan & Mohammed, 2007). Applying this to the safety culture, it follows that a safety culture are those safety-related values that are deeply embedded in an organization’s culture and that tend to determine the actions, practices and procedures of the organization.
An international conference in central Europe on nuclear energy defined safety culture using these words "safety culture is that assembly of characteristics and attitudes in organizations and individuals which establishes that, as an overriding priority, nuclear plant safety issues receive the attention warranted by their significance" CITATION Car003 \p 1 \l 2057 (Carnino, 2000, p. 1).
Much of the literature on safety culture has focused on the frameworks for developing a safety culture in organizations and on the need for and implications of the safety culture in an organization, as well as presenting case studies and legal frameworks for the safety culture. The first question that theorists and practitioners ask is, why safety culture? According to Hudson (1999), the answer to this question is that most people tend to see safety as having a primary concern of the personal wellbeing of the organizational stakeholders. The stakeholders herein are not limited to the people involved in the work and the related risks, and they also include other parties. Safety culture is also concerned with the integrity of the business and its assets. Herein, the safety culture and the concept of safety management are key to allowing the dangerous business activities to successfully take place without harm or damage. This helps to conclude that the implications of safety culture in an organization, and also the need for a safety culture, include the reduction of health and safety-related incidences and also ensuring the wellbeing of the employees and other stakeholders is maintained.
Regarding the safety culture frameworks, different frameworks have been developed and they have differed mostly in the industry context. For example, the frameworks for a construction industry differ from those suggested for service industry. The basic tenet here has been that a culture of safety is established and maintained through various processes that include leadership and communication among others. The Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General, for example, presents a Construction Safety Competency Framework that comprises nine core behaviours:
* Communicate company values
* Demonstrate leadership
* Clarify required and expected behaviour
* Personalise safety outcomes
* Develop positive safety attitudes
* Engage and own safety responsibilities and accountabilities
* Increase hazard/risk awareness and preventive behaviours
* Improve understanding and effective implementation of safety management systems
* Monitor, review and reflect on personal effectiveness CITATION Dep13 \p 2 \l 2057 (Department of Justice and Attorney general, 2013, p. 2)
A conceptual framework of safety culture is discussed by Minsan and Mohammed (2007) who state that safety culture is am embodiment of principles loosely defining what organizations are like when it comes to health and safety. In this conceptual framework, there is employees’ perception of safety culture, and there is indic...
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