The tool of communication is the key
With a background in engineering, Lotte’s awareness and passion for safety flourished after working in the wind turbine industry. Now in a global health and
safety role in the manufacturing industry, she reflects on safety progress, how communication can be a simple safety win and why reinforcement is vital.
Q. How do you think the perception of safety has changed, and are there any simple changes to achieve safety excellence?
Lotte: The maturity of the safety culture is, in my opinion, the key factor. If a company sets its safety culture too rigidly they will never succeed in maturing the safety culture. This is as the safety procedures will always be perceived as something that HSE employees developed without any real explanation of what the benefits are to the workforce. Responsibilities will become too siloed, which mean that the safety agenda will ultimately lack coordination. Is the Safety Culture changing? Yes, for the companies where top management are taking a visible responsibility for zero accidents. But it’s still important to keep holding up a mirror on the levels of engagement and safety maturity at top management level. I think we can also get too caught up in losing sight of the safety vision, so involving third parties can act as a catalyst to achieve safety excellence by bringing fresh eyes and offering a different perspective. There are also simple changes that can impact safety perception; by being visible and addressing the culture by speaking to people. This not only creates awareness, but also shows that you genuinely care about their safety.