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SAFETY CULTURE Assessment

Back in 2008, in conjunction with the ACC and the Department of Labour (DoL) now WorkSafe NZ, PF Olsen Ltd completed a safety culture project. The project (a year-long pilot study) involved two teams of people from across the forest industry.  Armed with the findings, PF Olsen delivered a one-day course to around 300 leaders in its business.  These leaders, mostly contractors, were taught the basics of safety culture and were provided several tools for use personally and at work-sites.

DoL Onward Development – having access to many other industries and having the ability to consolidate a wider range of learning the DoL produced the “Safety Culture Snapshot”.  This is a simple self-assessment tool including self-help resources.

NZFOA Involvement– around the same time, the NZFOA Safety and Training Committee developed a safety culture assessment tool.  This was based on the original “Growing A Safety Culture” project and was used primarily with forestry crews.  Recently this tool has been revised by the Forest Industry Safety Council.

Tips for running a successful safety culture project

  • Assessment starts by asking ‘how are we doing and how could we do better?’  Use a self- assessment tool every 4 to 5 years – this will help newer, and refresh older, employees.
  • Keep it simple – complex assessments with ‘specialists’ are not required.
  • Focus on one or two improvement areas and work on them as a team.  This will increase the team’s confidence and provide the benefits of an improving safety culture.

View this article in Safety Bulletin 111