Towards Valuing Safety
During a successful launch and sustained use of a Values Based Safety Culture program, Client learned some key takeaways that you can leverage in implementing your own safety culture program. This case study explores an important lesson: the importance of chosing values to anchor behaviour.
Client is a global manufacturer of a specific family of chemicals. In 2009 two employees got intoxicated during maintenance work, leading to their death. DeWaardeFabriek was asked to help designing a clear safety culture for the client globally.
Client knew that working culture differed from shift to shift, resulting in unstable safety performance. Management wondered how to influence employee behaviour such that colleagues would find it normal to reflect on behaviour and display responsible safety behaviour.
The Values based behaviour approach could never have been implemented without your (DWF) help!
Client HSE Manager
Safety is Culture is Values
Safety performance is the result of a collective focus on acting in a safe way together. For developing and executing collective behaviour you need people to work from clear and shared values towards clear and shared objectives. Safety objectives are the most easy to determine: no injuries at all.
For collective safety behaviour you need to have a clear and shared set of values. Why are values so crucial? Values are the fundamental drivers of our thoughts and actions. Therefore an organisation needs to have a clear set of safety values as the foundation of safety behaviour.
(International) teams representing all organisation levels was challenged to determine the organisational safety values as well as providing a first translation into behaviour examples in the work execution. This team was supported by top-management as participants in the dialogues and work. Each team member was coached to make these values and behaviours a leading framework in all operational meetings.
One of the key things Client learned in this Values based Culture program: Take the time to really learn to translate “a value” into actual behaviour. Upper management became more and more aware of the importance to display the wanted behaviour in order to win trust and respect to require employees to display safe behaviour. Thus driving Client in the upper quartile of safety performance in chemical industry.
An important culture success driver of safe behaviour was the set of clear and logic safety values and linked behaviour.
This insight has been fed into the daily operational management meetings to cultivate that behaviour management is a normal part of the job.