Measuring, Evaluating and Improving Safety Culture

Safety culture assessment allows organisations to better understand how employees perceive the company’s approach to health & safety. It allows for the monitoring and improvement of approaches to health and safety.

Planning and implementing safety policy and safety management systems

The safety culture toolkit is designed for safety managers and supervisors involved in planning and implementing safety policy and safety management systems. It is relevant to all companies regardless of the level of safety culture present as there is always room for improvements. The toolkit offers advice and good practice guidance specific to the level of safety culture present in a company. Essentially, companies can identify existing level of safety culture and plan their development based on the advice offered in the toolkit. It also provides the opportunity to share and learn from examples of safety culture interventions that have been effective in improving attitudes and behaviours towards safety.   

This safety culture toolkit is a one-stop shop that provides:  

  • A safety culture self-assessment survey and analysis package
  • Generic and results-specific guidance on safety culture enhancement
  • Access to good practice examples to generate ideas for improvements
  • The opportunity to submit good practice items to the Safety Culture Library
  • An interactive Safety Culture Discussion Forum where registered users can post and respond to comments

Continuous improvement 

Continuous improvements require a multi-faceted, integrated approach to ensure organisational safety priorities, systems and behaviours are consistent with a strong safety culture. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to safety culture development as each rail organisation will have its own structure, systems, history, culture and needs. 

RSSB’s human factors team have developed a behavioural development guide to identify common factors associated with creating a culture of continuous improvement. The aim of this guide is to provide practical information and advice on creating a culture that adopts continuous safety improvements. By proposing a coordinated, industry approach this aims to reduce duplication of effort and resources and save on costs for individual operators. It is intended as a tool to disseminate ideas and give general guidance on safety culture development. It is not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive.   

We have also produced work looking at safety critical rule compliance. Despite the fact that the majority of personnel are conscientious with respect to rules and procedures, there is evidence from rail and other industries that shows failure to comply with rules has resulted in the occurrence of incidents. To help improve rule compliance in the rail industry a toolkit of practical methods, procedures and guidance has been developed. This is based on research that identified the factors that affect compliance, the prevalence of non-compliance and methods that are likely to succeed in improving compliance.

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