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Changing safety culture

From diagnosis to action

Once you have carried out the diagnosis and evaluated your safety culture, you have the starting point for launching changes.
A common trend is to set up a vast array of incongruous corrective actions that aim to fix any problems within the organisation quickly... but not sustainably.
However, real change only happens in the medium and long term, and must extend beyond practices – to mindsets.
This implies:
  • a shared conviction that change is necessary, 
  • the existence of resources, including time (it can take several years), 
  • the mobilisation of all actors, 
  • a steadfast commitment from top managers, who are willing to reassess their own practices,
  • a readiness to seek input from an external party that could provide constructive criticism.

A long-term project
Changing safety culture is not like changing an organisational chart or a manufacturing process. It is impossible to change the safety culture of an organisation without changing the “soil” that nourishes it, i.e. the organisational culture. Changing safety culture takes time. Improving safety performance is an ongoing process that requires an iterative approach and unwavering commitment from all concerned.

Identifying the goal and setting the course

A more integrated safety culture relies upon a high degree of involvement from both management and employees. Starting with a shared understanding of the current situation, the first step is to co-construct a vision of the future safety culture: the “goal”.
Where do we want to go and why? Who are the key people that can support this change?
What are the strategies for change, and in what time frame?

Changing safety culture

The Icsi methodology consists of a 5-step approach to changing an organisation’s safety culture. The approach supports the implementation of values and sustainable practices that can help to manage the major risks linked to the organisation’s activities.