Building a “safety culture” in your organization can be challenging and, once successfully established, you might wonder how long will it remain in good working order? Some influences that can alter the safety mindset of your team are changes in management or even changes in your superiors. “TIME” is also a huge factor in the stabilization of your organization’s safety culture. Safety improvements will only last so long until the unforeseen hazards reveal themselves. Let’s face it; we live in an ever-changing world where organizations have to adapt in order to run concurrently with safety regulations.
Currently in my organization, the safety culture has become a little bit stagnate in some of my departments. Due to this so-called “dry spell”, I plan to reboot it. It is important to think about what factors will need to be considered when rebooting your safety culture. What do the employees in your organization believe about your mission and vision statement? What departments are the most challenging to get in front of? What resources are available to you and your organization to help spread the safety message? What support is needed to be successful? Lastly, what is the best way to communicate with your team? All of these questions will need to be answered if you want to reboot your safety culture successfully.
“Family” is a word I would use to describe an organization that has a successful working safety culture. Think about it; many people spend more time at work then they actually do at home with their real families. With that said, your organization should treat their employees like family and have an open and welcoming environment. Being excited to see your work family will boost the morale in your organization and happy employees miss less days of work, are more productive, and take more pride in their work. This is definitely how I want my employees to feel when they come to work in my organization.
Communication is one of the strongest tools an organization can have. Keeping your employees abreast of loss trends, updated safety info, and trainings will help reduce the likelihood of them being injured. On top of that, creating an open two-way communication, with all employees, will only increase employee job satisfaction. Knowing that an employee can have their opinion heard goes a long way in any environment.
Leadership buy-in will be one of the most crucial key components, as without it, any ideas will fade and disappear. Leaders who believe in what they preach will be supported and will build the buy-in of their employees. Having all employees on the same mindset about the importance of safety creates a successful safety culture. A successfully operating safety culture will then become the norm or, as the saying goes, “the way we do things around here”.
With all that said on rebooting your safety culture, I have identified the departments that I will be working with in my organization and have already achieved support from leadership. I plan to create a 10-15 minute webcast that I can share with all employees in these departments. I chose this communication style, as these groups are the hardest to get together for in person batch trainings. I will share facts about each group’s loss trends along with a solution that reflects our organization’s mission and vision statement. I also encourage you to comment on challenges you’re facing or successes you are celebrating in your organization. Until next time…
By: Peter Thomas Hallez
Loss Control Manager, Aurora Public Schools
Summary of Qualifications
Over 6 years working as the Loss Control Manager for Aurora Public Schools overseeing 4600 employees and 67 school and administrative sites.
Identify and analyze loss trends. Develop, implement and monitor methods to minimize number of losses and/or mitigate severity of losses.
Develop and implement safety training to meet the identified needs of District employees. Coordinate crossing guard training.
Perform accident investigations to identify root cause and generate recommendations to reduce/eliminate hazards contributing to the accident. Provide training to supervisors in proper accident documentation.
Perform or coordinate ergonomic evaluations. Assist in the evaluation for purchase of safety goods and services.
Work with schools, departments and concerned citizens to address areas of perceived/identified loss exposures, identify related issues, problem solve and assist in the implementation of solutions.
Evaluate vehicular & pedestrian movement at school sites for hazardous conditions. Coordinate involvement of appropriate District departments or other governmental jurisdictions to achieve safe conditions. Create traffic procedure maps for school leadership as needed.
Integrate appropriate safety messages into the existing communication vehicles.
Maintain playground inspection certification and perform annual playground inspections. Keep inspection findings organized and easily accessible. Enter work orders when repairs are required.
Facilitate safety teams to reinforce a culture that acknowledges the importance of safety across the District.
Participate in the Coordinated School Health Team and Wellness Committee meetings.
Maintain the Risk Management website and annually review human resources new employee training materials for accuracy concerning risk management matters.
Active member of the Incident Response Team.
Responsible for identifying, analyzing, developing and implementing loss control methods.
Responsible for developing, coordinating and/or conducting safety programs and training for employees.
Responsible for playground inspections, traffic evaluations, accident investigations and coordinating safety committees.
Certified Playground Safety Inspector
Safety & Security
Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA)
Colorado Chapter http://www.coloradoprima.org/
• Past President Conference Chair (2016)
• President of the Board (2015)
• Vice President of the Board, 2014
• Board member (2012-13)
National Education Committee member (2015-17)
Metropolitan State University of Denver, CO (May 2006)
Bachelor of Science, Aviation Technology – Aerospace Operations
Minor, General Business
Private Pilot License
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