POWER OF DATA BLOG

Safety Culture: Steps to Effective Change

Choosing the Right Program
Aug 28/2018 Published by: Lytx Lytx Telematics

In my last article I defined safety culture and explained its importance in organizational safety. In the current article (with a limited word count!), I’ll attempt to illustrate the steps needed to obtain a positive safety culture.

In the first step you should assess your organization’s safety culture. Tools for assessing safety culture can be classified as either qualitative or quantitative methods. Qualitative methods include employee observations, focus group discussions, historical information reviews and case studies. Qualitative measurement can be intensive; however, in-depth information can be obtained using the focal group’s own language. In contrast, quantitative approaches numerically measure or score safety culture using procedures that are often highly standardized and calibrated, such as highly structured interviews, surveys and questionnaires, and Q-sorts. These methods will be critical in identifying areas in need of improvement, but also serve as a baseline to assess your efforts in obtaining a positive safety culture. Of particular importance is the similarity (or discrepancy) in drivers’ or other front-line workers and safety mangers’ attitudes and opinions regarding safety. Everyone should be on the same page regarding safety and its importance to your organization.

The second step involves the formation of a safety steering committee. The purpose of the steering committee should not overlap with ongoing activities in the existing safety department. Be specific and determine the ground rules for the steering committee, limitations or restrictions, priorities and who should be on the team. The best approach is to be inclusive and involve all levels in your organization. This means you’ll have input from all levels and your efforts won’t be perceived as another top-down safety approach. The critical elements to be discussed by the steering committee include leadership, behavioral safety and what Geller (2001) calls “actively caring.” The largest influences on safety culture include the following:

Management Commitment and Style: Although input and participation in a positive safety culture is needed from all employees, leadership is the key to affecting a positive safety culture. Effective leaders build responsibility, focus on the process (not the outcome), educate (not train), listen first, ask questions, promote ownership and inspire by example.

Employee Involvement: Management may be the key to adopting a positive safety culture, but employee involvement is necessary to maintain the process. Front-line employees are more likely to take ownership and adhere to safety initiatives when they’ve been involved in designing and implementing safety procedures and techniques.  

Education, Training and Competence: Employees need to learn key principles and procedures to behave safely. To ensure an effective education, training and competence program, the steering committee should consider the following elements: develop education content and procedures, plan the education and training process, plan follow-up sessions, and identify and prepare instructors. 

Communication: Don’t pay lip service to bottom-up communication. Listening (and acting) to front-line employee communication shows you care about their opinions. In turn, this effective communication will lead to better trust, camaraderie and empowerment.

Compliance with Procedures: Initially, focus your efforts on measuring compliance with procedures rather than outcome measures (e.g., crashes, etc.). This will allow you to identify your successes and target areas in need of improvement. 

Actively Caring: An organization that actively cares about safety is not passive (e.g., problems are identified but not put into practice), but rather active (embedded into the culture) in truly understanding safety and how to improve safety. With effective leadership, employee involvement, education, training, competence programs and a focus on process measures (rather than outcome measures), your employees will be more willing to actively care for their co-workers and your organization.      

Just remember, culture change doesn’t happen overnight; a culture change process can take several years.

————–

Dr. Hickman joined the Center for Truck and Bus Safety at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in 2004 and became the Group Leader for the Behavioral Analysis and Applications group in 2009.  He has significant experience in the design, delivery, and implementation of safety and health improvement interventions using behavior-based and person-based psychology and human factors applications.  His primary areas of research include community-wide (large scale) applications of behavior-based safety, self-management, and organizational culture change techniques as well as assessing driver behavior, fatigue, work/rest cycles, and driver distraction in commercial motor operations. Although specializing in commercial motor vehicle safety, Dr. Hickman’s research interests are broadly defined as occupational health and safety.

Dr. Hickman has been the PI, Co-PI, or Project Manager in 35 research projects (totaling over $10 million).  These research projects include competitive research awards from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mine Health and Safety Administration, National Transportation Research Center, Inc., Transportation Research Board, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety. Dr. Hickman has over 60 professional presentations, including invited talks at Duke Energy, Sherwin-Williams, National Private Truck Council, Maersk, Pike Energy Corporation, and XL Insurance. Dr. Hickman has over 30 scientific publications and technical reports, served as a scientific reviewer for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in fiscal year 2012, and currently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Accident Analysis and Prevention, and Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.


Related Tags

Program Roll Out

Thank You For Subscribing To Our Blog

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam tincidunt, libero ut accumsan aliquet.

Related Blog Posts

Apr 29/2016 – Driving in the 21st Century

Partnering with Autonomous Vehicles

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Dec 17/2015 – Capitalizing on Your Investment

Realizing the Value of Big Data: Q&A with Bryon Cook, Vice President Data & Analytics for Lytx

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Oct 23/2015 – Capitalizing on Your Investment

Rapid Return on Investment – A New Record

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 24/2015 – Changing Driver Behavior

Changing Habits by Retraining Muscle Memory

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 20/2015 – Changing Driver Behavior

What Professional Drivers Learn From Their Coaches

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 24/2015 – Changing Driver Behavior

Big Data, Better Drivers

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

May 07/2015 – Choosing the Right Program

Feedback Matters

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 17/2015 – Choosing the Right Program

Have You Thanked Your Driver Lately?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 25/2015 – Changing Driver Behavior

Why Cheaper Gas Prices Could Put Your Safety At Risk

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 18/2015 – Driving in the 21st Century

Predictive Analytics: Game Changer

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 12/2015 – Capitalizing on Your Investment

Protecting Industry Growth as the Economy Revs Up

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 15/2015 – Driving in the 21st Century

CES Focus: Road Safety

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 24/2014 – Choosing the Right Program

A Video Camera in a Truck Cab Won’t Prevent Accidents

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 03/2014 – Changing Driver Behavior

Adjusting to Standard Time

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 05/2014 – Changing Driver Behavior

Distracted Driving Forecast: Sunny with a chance of collision?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 02/2013 – Changing Driver Behavior

Lytx™: The Power of Data Blog

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Apr 04/2013 – Changing Driver Behavior

Seeing is Believing

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 28/2012 – Capitalizing on Your Investment

Safety Regulations: How Much Does it Cost When You Fail to Comply?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 13/2012 – Changing Driver Behavior

What Will Really Deter People From Engaging in Distracted Driving?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 25/2012 – Changing Driver Behavior

There are No Short-Term Initiatives … that Work!

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 03/2015 – Changing Driver Behavior

Risk is a Consequential Matter

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 01/2015 – Changing Driver Behavior

Innovation as a Business Focus

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 25/2015 – Driving in the 21st Century

Innovation’s Role in Recruiting the Next Generation of Drivers

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 15/2011 – Changing Driver Behavior

The Most Common Risky Behaviors

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Dec 22/2010 – Changing Driver Behavior

Looking Farther Down the Road

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 23/2010 – Changing Driver Behavior

One Simple Step to Reducing Truck Crashes

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 03/2011 – Changing Driver Behavior

Danger in the Parking Lot

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 28/2011 – Changing Driver Behavior

The Dangers of an Open Lane

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Dec 06/2010 – Choosing the Right Program

Why a Driver Safety System – Pt. 2

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Apr 28/2011 – Choosing the Right Program

Why a Driver Safety System – Pt. 3

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 01/2011 – Changing Driver Behavior

Make Driving a Game

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Oct 10/2011 – Changing Driver Behavior

Safety Culture: What is it and How does it Affect Safety?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 05/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior

Even the greats play back their match performance

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 02/2015 – Changing Driver Behavior

How do you define ‘behaviour’?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Dec 17/2014 – Capitalizing on Your Investment

Just Sticking a Video Camera in a HGV Cab Won’t Prevent Accidents

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 20/2013 – Changing Driver Behavior

Lorry Driving: one of the UK’s riskiest jobs

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 30/2014 – Choosing the Right Program

Top Considerations When Investing in Driver Safety Systems

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 15/2015

Telematics & CCTV Effects on Insurance & Collision Costs

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 25/2013 – Choosing the Right Program

Corporate Manslaughter

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 08/2016 – Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Meet Janelle: The Cone Destroyer

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

May 23/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Retraining to Retain Your Drivers

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 02/2017 – Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

What’s a Safety Halo? And Can it Help Build Your Brand?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 10/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Three Things That Put Teeth in Your Safety Policy

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 22/2017 – Choosing the Right Program, Featured

From the Front Lines: Turning Data into Insight

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 24/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

From the Front Lines: Turning Insight Into Action

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 28/2017 – Featured

Part 3: Getting Drivers and Managers to Buy into Analytics

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Apr 14/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Autonomous Vehicle Essentials You Need to Know Part One: Levels of Automation

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Apr 18/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Autonomous Vehicle Essentials You Need to Know Part Two: Impact on Drivers, Fleets and the Industry

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

May 30/2017 – Featured

A Safety Manager Uses Math to Look Under the Surface

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jun 07/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Swift Guide to Better Coaching

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jun 26/2017 – Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

How ‘Cultural Novocain’ is Numbing Outrage to Traffic Fatalities

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jun 30/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Practical Guide to Coaching Through Conflict

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 06/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Putting Positivity Behind Your Training Program Will Pay Off

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 13/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Mobile Fire Department - Lytx Coach of the Year

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Oct 22/2015 – Changing Driver Behavior

Lytx – Proud Supporters of Brake Road Safety Week

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Apr 19/2014 – Changing Driver Behavior

Reading between the guidelines

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 05/2014 – Changing Driver Behavior

Prevention is the Best Cure

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 03/2014 – Changing Driver Behavior

The positive feedback loop

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 29/2014 – Choosing the Right Program

The true cost of collisions to fleets

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Oct 24/2010 – Changing Driver Behavior

Blind Trust

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

May 08/2012 – Capitalizing on Your Investment

Value in Safety

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 09/2012 – Changing Driver Behavior

Is Distracted Driving Decreasing or Are We Hiding Distractions?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 26/2012 – Changing Driver Behavior

Don’t Give Up … Don’t Ever Give Up

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 29/2011 – Changing Driver Behavior

Habits

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 16/2015 – Driving in the 21st Century

Understanding the demand for driverless cars

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 14/2015 – Driving in the 21st Century

Who Will Code Ethics into Autonomous Vehicles?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 11/2015 – Capitalizing on Your Investment

Where are the Crystal Balls in Business?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 18/2015 – Driving in the 21st Century

Frost & Sullivan: 1 million vehicles with video by 2020

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 13/2015 – Driving in the 21st Century

Humans vs. Robot Cars: Preparing for the Showdown

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jun 01/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Heinrich’s Pyramid Challenge: 190 to 1 in an Instant

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jun 03/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Hands-Free Phones Still Lead to Distractions & Collisions

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

May 25/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Taking the Risk Out of One of the Riskiest Professions

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jun 15/2016 – Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

How Gamification Optimizes Driving & Vehicle Performance

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 27/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Using Data to Prioritize Your Fleet’s Safety Issues

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 29/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Driving for the Limits of Automated Technology

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 26/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Fleet Safety: The Dangers Lurking Inside Your Fleet

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Oct 28/2016 – Choosing the Right Program, Featured

What You Might Not Know About the ELD Mandate

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 09/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Three Types of Distracted Driving – and How to Solve Them – Part 1: Manual Distractions

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 15/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Three Types of Distracted Driving – and How to Solve Them – Part 2: Visual Distractions

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 07/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Top 3 Ways Proactive Fleet Managers Build a Safety Program

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jun 23/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Who – or What -- Does the Heavy Lifting to Improve CSA Scores?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 24/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Unsafe Drivers Are Often the Biggest Fuel Offenders

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 23/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Distracted Driving Behaviors – and How to Solve Them – Part 3 Cognitive Distractions

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 01/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Effective Video Review: Better Coaching

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 01/2016 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Fleet Safety: Putting a Stop to Rolling Stops

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Feb 28/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

High-Efficiency Driving: Five Driver Behaviors that Reduce Cost

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Dec 16/2016 – Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Making a Case for Video Part 2: Exoneration From The Driver’s Seat

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Dec 22/2016 – Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Making a Case for Video Part 3: The Company and the Courtroom

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Dec 06/2016 – Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Making a Case for Video Part 1: The Value of Video in Litigation

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 20/2017 – Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Secrets of Top Performing Fleets

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 17/2017 – Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

More Fatalities Happen on Rural Roads - On Either Side of the Atlantic

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 25/2017 – Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

The Power of Peers to Inform Fleet Safety

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 10/2017 – Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Distracted Pedestrians are On the Rise: What to Do About Them

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 16/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Fear of Autonomous Vehicles – Loving of Autonomous Features

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 31/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Is Your Employee Rewards Program a Bust? Get a New Approach

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 08/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Video Event Recorders Can Protect One’s Livelihood

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 15/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Components of Effective Accountability Systems

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 22/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

What’s Out There: Three Rewards Programs That Work

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Oct 10/2017 – Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Painting the Complete Picture: The Use of Witnesses in Trials

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Oct 16/2017 – Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Four Driver Behaviors That Consume The Most Fuel

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 07/2017 – Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Communications 101: Seven Steps to Successfully Spreading the Word

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 10/2017 – Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Owner’s Guide to Creating a Medium-Sized Fleet Safety Program

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 16/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Five Sources of Aggressive Driving and What You Can Do About It

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 20/2017 – Capitalizing on Your Investment, Featured

Seven Safety Quagmires and How to Sidestep Them

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Nov 29/2017 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Gunning It: 6 Facts on Why to Avoid Hard Accelerations

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Oct 17/2014 – Driving in the 21st Century

It Takes More than Technology To Make Roads Safer

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 17/2014 – Driving in the 21st Century

Women on the Road

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 15/2014 – Changing Driver Behavior

Driver Appreciation Week

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 15/2018 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Navigating the Risks of Navigation Devices

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 22/2018 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Four Ways the DriveCam Programme Backs Up Drivers

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 16/2018 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

6 Defensive Driving Tips for St. Patrick’s Day

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Mar 23/2018 – Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Shedding Light on How Daylight Saving Time Impacts Road Safety

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Sep 09/2012 – Changing Driver Behavior

Thank a Truck Driver (or two)

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 08/2012 – Choosing the Right Program

The Cost of Distracted Driving

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Aug 18/2016 – Choosing the Right Program, Featured

DOT Regulations: From the Same Government Who Brought You the Tax Code

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Apr 23/2018 – Changing Driver Behaviour, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

A Human Approach to London's Vision Zero Initiative

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jun 21/2018 – Changing Driver Behaviour, Featured

Five Top Tips from A Top Driving Coach

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 11/2018 – Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Where Will the Transportation Industry Be in 20 Years?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Dec 06/2017 – Featured

The Interplay Between Leadership and Technology

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman