Safety Culture
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Safety Culture

Safety Culture

Our expertise engages people to safety – building and nurturing a proactive safety culture that drives safety performance

We assist organisations of all sizes to engage their managers and people to safety through initiatives that impact your safety climate and drive safety performance. Our expertise focuses on organisational safety – addressing the ‘human in the system’. Our unique industry insights have allowed us to develop diagnostic tools that assess your safety culture so that you can better understand and prioritise the improvements you need to make.

A proactive safety culture fosters an environment where staff feel responsible for safety. This can be seen when they actively seek improvements, vigilantly remain aware of hazards and utilise systems and tools for continuous monitoring, analysis, and investigation.

Foundations of a proactive safety culture include shared commitment by staff and management across all levels, to personal safety responsibilities, confidence in the safety system and a documented set of policies and rules which are followed. Responsibility for creating a proactive safety culture rests with senior management and relies on having a high degree of trust and respect between them and the workforce.

A proactive safety culture comprises a blend of performance sub-cultures:

  • Just Culture
  • Reporting Culture
  • Influencing Culture
  • Flexible and Learning Culture
  • Questioning Culture

Safety culture is a natural bi-product of your organisation’s overall corporate culture and is directly shaped and influenced by the behaviours, attitudes and beliefs of the senior management team. Safety culture encompasses an organisation’s commonly held perceptions and beliefs regarding safety and ‘the way we do things around here’ and therefore has the potential to significantly influence people’s behaviour. Focussing on making positive changes to your safety climate, will in time effect your safety culture.

Challenges you may be facing

  • Your safety leadership team don’t have a shared view of the current safety culture
  • You don’t have a credible safety culture continuous improvement plan
  • You see events that concern you and need to understand why they happened
  • You have quality failure outputs and need to understand their causes
  • You have misgivings about current work processes and are concerned that not everyone follows the correct procedures
  • Your people are cautious about reporting error, they don’t feel a Just Culture prevails
  • Your error management system identifies reasonable levels of error reporting, but you don’t see any evidence of corrective actions being implemented
  • Your organisation operates in silos, with different management styles, attitudes and behaviours in each area – preventing a cohesive approach to safety management

How we can help

  • Safety Culture Diagnostic – by identifying and measuring behaviours and attitudes, we can offer you a valuable insight into the maturity of your safety culture and its impact on your day-to-day operation and organisational safety performance.  Our diagnostic surveys provide an in-depth, objective review of your current safety culture and helps you gain a valuable perspective of how and to what extent your people, processes, procedures, structure and resources support a safety culture
  • Safety Strategy Development – our experienced safety strategy consultants work alongside you to help develop a robust safety vision, strategies and objectives for your organisation, formulating road-maps of action that will help you achieve desired business and organisational safety performance objectives
  • Safety Leadership support – working on a one-to-one basis, we can help your safety leadership set and deliver safety goals in the most efficient way
  • Safety Culture and behaviours coaching – Assisting managers to establish and communicate desired safety behaviours is a first step on the road to improving the development of a safety culture in an organisation
  • Just Culture Development – an open and honest reporting system is essential to understanding and managing risk in an organisation. It relies on trust in a Just Culture; trust that the leadership team is committed to the principles of a Just Culture and trust that the processes will be consistently applied. Through a programme of guidance and facilitation, we can help you to understand, build and sustain a Just Culture and help unlock the sharing of safety event information
  • Investigation and review skills – we can you build the competence to investigate events and operate effective review groups that will support your Just culture
  • Human Factors Training – Although a mandatory requirement for all EASA Part 145 organisations, Human Factors and Error Management training is essential for engaging your people in the effective management of error. Everyone needs to understand their personal responsibilities for safety in order to prevent rule-breaking and violations from occurring and a successful HF training programme – including recurrent/refresher training is a must for all proactive, safety-conscious organisations.

What does a proactive safety culture look like?

Having a proactive safety culture is one of the core enablers of organisational safety performance and is fundamental to achieving your stated safety vision and goals. A proactive safety culture is evident when there are highly motivated, competent people who are aligned with your strategic and daily operational safety objectives and priorities.

At a strategic level, the safety culture of your organisation has a huge influence on your ability to protect your reputation, business profitability and assets; at an operational level, your safety culture plays a significant role in helping to reduce human error, inefficiency, incidents, injuries and rework.

A strong, proactive safety culture provides:

  • High degrees of trust and respect between your workforce and senior management
  • An enthusiasm and commitment to participate in reporting with strong feedback
  • A willingness to positively challenge and change ‘the way business is done around here’
  • An ability to continually adopt change, without dilution to the safety climate
  • An environment in which learning actively drives improvements and questioning is actively and openly encouraged

Can you measure safety culture?

Yes – our unique SMARRT MAP™ helps organisations understand where they are on their maturity journey to effective safety performance. Being able to measure your safety culture and understand how to ensure it delivers your safety management performance goals is an area in which we have extensive expertise. We help organisations reap the rich rewards that come from creating a true safety culture.

A proactive safety culture comprises a blend of high-performing sub-cultures:

A ‘proactive’ safety culture

Supporting these sub-cultures is a series of organisational ‘enablers’ which support a proactive safety culture. By powering-up performance across all these enablers of your safety culture, a ‘proactive’ safety culture becomes the ‘engine’ that drives an organisation towards organisational safety performance.

From an independent, impartial evaluation of your safety culture you are able to benchmark and baseline your current position. Our safety culture reviews provide a valuable understanding of the gaps and priorities to effective safety management performance. This often provides the essential details to continuous improvement strategies and annual safety plan objectives.


A Failure of Leadership, Culture and Priorities – Executive Summary of The Nimrod Review by Charles Haddon-Cave QC

Our work to deliver sustainable cultural change through the implementation of a successful Error Management System for AHDSU (Attack Helicopter Depth Support Unit) led to Baines Simmons being cited in the Nimrod Review by Charles Haddon-Cave as a leading example of how to positively effect and influence safety cultural change in a military environment. [link to Nimrod Exec Summary] [link to case studies 3, 14 & 30]

Our work with AHDSU subsequently led to Baines Simmons being selected to partner the MAA to assist in the design and delivery of an ‘all services error management system’, known as the pan-Defence Aviation Error Management System (DAEMS) to build a positive and proactive safety culture across the ‘4-worlds’ – aircrew, engineers, air traffic management and other support personnel – of all defence aviation disciplines. The introduction of a the DAEMS programme was in response to the 2009 Nimrod Review that made 84 recommendations to the MOD to improve both Air Safety and wider aspects of safety across the department. The MAA was formed in direct response to the Haddon-Cave investigation and report and its aim is to enhance the delivery of operational capability through continuous improvement in military Air Safety, associated culture, regulation and practice.