Health and Safety has increasingly become a hot topic in countries across the globe as governments and businesses alike grapple with the increased costs and loss of productivity that come about as the result of Health and Safety incidents, never mind the personal cost to those involved and wider mental health and stress implications. While it’s all well and good to increase compliance through checklists, observation, reporting and penalising, ultimately the goal has got to be about building up a robust safety culture within organisations.
Safety Culture is about people, specifically your people and team, and how they work together. There are two main things that are common to all definitions.
1. It is about people’s values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. In an organisation with a good safety culture, these are geared towards safety as a priority.
2. It is about the spread of these values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. Organisations with a good safety culture have these spread throughout—from top management to the shop floor and in everything everyone does in the organisation.
To summarise, a safety culture is: “the core values, beliefs and behaviours resulting from a collective commitment by leaders and individuals throughout an organisation that appropriately prioritise safety against other organisational goals to allow business objectives to be undertaken without undue risk”.
Now, while it is easy to criticise the 'smashed avocado' approach that many younger folk have adopted as evidence of their not taking life seriously enough, recent readings about mindfulness suggest that time and money spent at places like cafes are appropriate investments.
Enhancing a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens, such as one is able to achieve when surrounded by old books and a great glass of lemonade, is one way of helping you to have a clear mind as you re-enter your office to confront the next day's challenges. And if that challenge is to do with Health and Safety and you are able to take on that challenge with an open mind and a fresh perspective, then the investment in a 10-minute break in your favourite cafe is money well spent.
Let's examine eight other areas you can invest in to get the most out of your health and safety budget.