In this post we will share how we think about elements of safety, so you can understand Barclay Safety Solutions will start you on the safety transformation journey.
Now I am sure these points of view are not revolutionary, I am positive most people would see these elements the same way! What makes safety transformation at Barclay Safety Solutions is how you put this altogether so people CARE.
Safety is controlling and reducing exposure to hazards
It’s important to ensure we define safety in a proactive way. People have defined safety as Zero Harm or Avoiding Injury. This is problematic because as most of us think ‘It won’t happen to me” so we believe we are being safe enough and actually take unwanted risks.
Safety is actually protecting people from hazards. This means we protect ourselves from the hazard and protect others from the hazard. This is a more proactive focus on safety because it is about focusing on the hazard and how we protecting ourselves and others from it, regardless of whether we think we will get hurt or not.
Hazards are anything that has potential to cause harm, damage, loss or adverse health effects. “Potential for harm”
It’s important to recognise everything is a hazard. Helping create an understanding that everything we interact with has the potential for harm in one way or another helps shift our thinking toward how we interact with the hazard to reduce our exposure to harm.
Behaviour is the way in which one acts or conducts themselves. “Action”
Recognising behaviour as simply as “what we do”, not what we think or feel starts the process of cognitive reframing. Behaviour is not good or bad it is just actions we take. We then put that action into context to determine if it is appropriate or not.
Exposure is the state of protection from something harmful (Hazard). “Protection”
To understand the state of protection from hazards we must look for two things, the hazard itself and the behaviour from the people interacting with the hazard. If the hazard is not under any control then exposure is higher, and if the behaviour is creating extra vulnerability to the hazard then the exposure is high.
Risk is the possibility that harm might occur when exposed to a hazard. “Probability”
Risk is a commonly used term for assessing the probability of harm occurring, while this is important for organisations to use for assessing and planning, it is unhelpful for individuals to use. The reason why risk is unhelpful for individuals is because of our bias, most of us believe it won’t happen, because it has not happened to us before. Because we rate the risk as low we no longer think about the hazard or put the best controls in place.
Attitude is a way of thinking or feeling about something. “The way of thinking”
Attitudes are important because they impact our behaviour. The challenge is attitudes are internal, unable to be measured and vary from person to person. When it comes to safety our attitude frames how we see safety, how we think about hazards and the decisions we make in how we should act.
Culture is the ideas, customs, and behaviour of a group of people. “The way of doing things”
Culture is important because it is a collective belief system that creates behavioural norms. The challenge with culture is it is intangible and difficult to measure. Most attempts for measuring the culture really only measure the climate. When it comes to safety the culture frames how we collectively see safety, think about hazards and decisions we make in how we should all act.
Climate is the current trend of opinion or aspect of significance. “Shift in trend”
Climate is slightly different to culture, as climate shifts based on current trends, opinions or significances. While this impacts the collective belief system the same as culture it is normally more short term. Over time as things settle back to norms the culture returns to what the core ideas, customs, and behaviours are associated with the group.
Bias is a tendency to lean in a certain direction, often to the detriment of having an open mind. “Avoidance”
Those who are biased tend to believe what they want to believe, refusing to take into consideration the opinions of others. To truly be biased, it means you’re lacking a neutral viewpoint. Sprouting from cultural contexts, biases tend to take root within a group, social class, or team.