Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Risk Control Services is offering its commercial lines customers a service that helps them identify targeted areas for improving safety. The Liberty Mutual Safety Climate Survey helps companies differentiate between the perception of a company’s overall safety culture and its employees’ actual measurement of safety. Safety Climate is employees’ measurable perceptions of management’s commitment to safety and the true safety priorities within an organization as well as a leading injury indicator.
Since 2009, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has been studying the scientific validity of Safety Climate surveys, in part with Dov Zohar, Ph.D., who was first to identify Safety Climate as a quantifiable dimension of organizational safety culture. Research shows that a company can have a strong safety culture collectively, but individual employees’ Safety Climate scores may not match an overall strong safety perception and can also vary based on employee tenure.
Safety Climate surveys can be administered to companies with 100 or more employees. The survey consists of two sets of 16 statements that gauge employees’ perceptions of senior management’s commitment to safety and that of their direct supervisor’s. Employees agree or disagree to the statements using a Likert scale of one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree). Risk Control Services can develop action plans that follow the results of a Safety Climate survey.
“Practical application of the safety climate surveys can help companies identify ways to make focused adjustments to safety management systems that, over time, can strengthen safety cultures,” said James Blaser, service director, Liberty Mutual Risk Control Services. “The more employees see and believe that upper management and supervisors are committed to their safety, the more employees typically become committed to safety and tend to follow policies and procedures more closely, and therefore have fewer accidents and injuries.”
Blaser added that Safety Climate survey usage is primarily for companies with strong safety records that want to improve further. “This is most effective in companies where management is already highly engaged in safety policy, where safety processes are based on best practices rather than just regulatory compliance, and where injury rates are lower than industry average.”
MDU Construction Services Group of Bismarck, North Dakota is one such organization. Comprised of 17 construction and specialty trade companies, it implemented the Safety Climate survey in early 2014. “We view the survey as a leading indicator of future safety performance for our companies. We’re really striving to get metrics in place that get beyond the rearview mirror,” said Frank Richard, vice president, Human Resources and Risk Control. “Our Safety Climate results were about where we thought they would be – solid. We did, however, find areas where we have placed greater emphasis. Our senior management is getting out into the field more often. We’re doing more safety inspections and more safety awareness events.”
Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance
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