Our friend Brian Fielkow published this great article on tips to build a strong safety culture for Inbound Logistics. The article makes several points about the development of a safety culture at your company.
Some companies tend to struggle in building their own safety culture, either because they don’t understand what safety truly is or how to maintain improvement in that area. Brian has several helpful suggestions in his article, but ultimately a safety culture always boils down to four key ingredients.
1. You will never be 100% safe.
We can never stress this enough. You can never stop trying to improve since you can always do better. Absolute zero is the goal even if impossible. That means always working to improve, focusing on all of the little details of the driver’s job.
2. Safety has to be an integral part of your company and a team effort.
In his article, Brian mentions the efforts of Elon Musk to discover the hazards of working for Tesla by actually working in a role where an injury has happened. That embodies the exact attitude any company needs to have in building a safety culture. You don’t have a driver-centric culture without a safety culture and you don’t prioritize safety without prioritizing the drivers and taking action to help them drive safer.
3. Safety is more than rules and technology.
We have said it many times before; compliance is not safety. Rules are fine and technology is helpful, but human behavior manufactures the risk which causes accidents. It’s those behaviors that need to be identified and fixed by the people at the top. That requires constant effort and accountability from those individuals.
4. Employees have to own safety.
Leaders have to drive safety efforts, but that will mean little if drivers and dispatchers don’t buy in. You need to reach your drivers and do everything to remind them that safety is first and they need to practice that principle if they wish to drive for your company. It’s drivers that take the risks that cause accidents, and they need to recognize this and make adjustments to their driving habits. THAT is what safety is all about.
These key ideas drive any safety culture. You and your team need to know what safety really is, how important it is to the health and success of your drivers, and that it is up to everyone to see that it is always the top priority.
With these keys and the efforts of you and your whole team, you will have a safer, more successful trucking company.
Click the image below to watch Mark Gardner's Safety Leadership presentation.