Culture of safety

Organised study of the mechanisms by which cultures change has been undertaken since at least 1890. Organisations and even whole societies have been studied to learn which critical features of social change movements are necessary and efficient. Analysing successful change strategies (e.g. those adopted to change our smoking and drink-driving behaviours) and unsuccessful strategies (e.g. the American Prohibition experience) can show us the way towards a ‘technology of change’ that will ensure more successful efforts to establish a culture of safety in the workplace.

From these lessons, a protocol to develop a culture of safety in the workplace can be developed, implemented and evaluated. Such a protocol will be transportable from workplace to workplace, and can lead to a working environment in which less injury occurs, more is learned from incidents and near misses, and every working person is actively engaged in making the workplace safe and healthy.