Every single business has a safety culture of some form – a product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour - that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organisation’s health and safety management.1
Put simply, a safety culture can be thought of as consisting of shared values (‘what we consider important’) and beliefs (‘what we consider true/false’), that interact with a business’s structure and control systems to produce behavioural standards (‘how we act, what we do’).
Understanding what yours looks like can go a long way to keeping employees safe, reducing costs and claims, and improving competitive advantage.
Safety culture surveys and behaviour surveys are a great way to assess your business’s safety culture and employee behaviour. They provide an opportunity to better understand employees’ normal behaviours when at work, further promote what works well and seek to improve where necessary.
What is a safety culture survey?
A safety culture survey provides a quantitative benchmark and candid insight into how employees actually feel about your current safety management - be it within the traditional ‘workplace’, or relating to driving at work activities.
What is a behaviour survey?
Safe behaviours are critical to prevent accidents and subsequent consequences, and are essential as part of a positive safety culture. People can behave in different ways in different circumstances based on a number of psychological factors including attitude, motivation, memory, personality and perception.
A behavioural survey is much more specific, asking questions on certain activities/operations such as driving or operating machinery, and very much focuses on employees’ behaviours.
Why your business might need a safety culture survey or a behaviour survey
There’s a number of factors that might lead you to conducting a safety culture survey or a behaviour survey, such as:
- Increasing frequency and/or severity of health and safety or vehicle-related claims.
- Increasing staff sickness and absence.
- Senior management reassurance and seeing how internal communications have landed.
- Development of a robust health and safety risk management framework.
- Promote greater awareness of workplace risks.
- Gaining better control of workplace risks – especially if you have multiple premises in operation.
- To identify joint solutions to health and safety, mental health and wellbeing concerns.
- Identify areas where a less positive safety culture may exist.
The benefits of safety culture surveys and behaviour surveys
The ability to focus resources on strengthening the areas of weakness identified, and learning from positive feedback, can bring huge benefits to your business.
Resilience, reputation and results - there’s something to be gained for any business, namely:
- Improved understanding of safety culture, employee perceptions and behaviour.
- Improved safety engagement and behaviours.
- Reduced accident rates, absence and sick leave.
- Reduced costs – insurance premiums, legal costs and temporary staff.
- Improved standing and reputation among suppliers, clients, and partners.
- Improved staff attraction and retention – creating a better place to work.
- Improved efficiency, quality and productivity.
- More consistent and effective internal communication.
- Improved mental health and wellbeing - with employees feeling supported and heard in the workplace.
Data-driven decisions and involving your employees in the process will set you on the right path to creating a successful safety culture.
More than just an insurance broker
Here at Marsh Commercial we’re more than just an insurance broker, we advise and provide practical solutions on all areas of operational risk* - including the provision of safety culture surveys and behaviour surveys.
Let us support you to operate more efficiently and profitably, while providing the evidence that insurers are increasingly requesting to see. Together, we can help reduce your insurance premiums, minimise your need to claim, avoid prolonged business disruption and most importantly, keep your employees safe.
Find out more about our specialist training and consultancy services here: marshcommercial.co.uk/for-business/risk-management
Real-world insight that we don't share anywhere else
Get access to exclusive help, advice and support, delivered straight to your inbox.
1. ACSNI Human Factors Study Group: Third report - Organising for safety HSE Books 1993
*These products and services are provided by a range of internal consultants, Marsh Risk Consulting, and third party providers who do not form part of Marsh and McLennan Companies’ corporate group and are not affiliated to Marsh Ltd trading as Marsh Commercial and our affiliates. We disclaim any and all liability, including any express or implied warranties, whether oral or written, for that third party’s products and services and the performance of any if its obligations to you. You acknowledge that no representation has been made by us as to the fitness of the third party products and services for your particular intended purpose. If you decide to utilise the products and services offered by that third party, we will receive a commission for the introduction of this business.
The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable and should be understood to be general risk management and insurance information only. The information is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. This article contains third party content and/or links to third party websites. Links to third party websites are provided as a convenience only. Marsh Commercial is not responsible or liable for any third party content or any third party website nor does it imply a recommendation or endorsement of such content, websites or services offered by third parties.