• Fusion Health and Safety

A Positive Safety Culture

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

He aha te mea nui o te ao.

He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata

What is the most important thing in the world?

It is people, it is people, it is people.

People are the most important asset in any business, and ensuring their health and safety at work is paramount. The time for turning New Zealand’s poor health and safety record around is now, and Fusion Health and Safety needs your help to make it happen, actions not statements.


New Zealand leads the world in many things, but health and safety isn’t one of them. We want this to change.

Health and safety is an essential part of good management. When your organisation gets health and safety right, it will succeed in other ways because a safer workplace is a more productive workplace. You influence the safety culture by what you do, what you say and what you focus on.


Wherever you are in your health and safety planning, follow these five interconnected paths to strengthen the health and safety culture in your organisation.


As a leader, your commitment to health and safety will have a positive effect on your whole organisation. When you make it clear – in your words and actions – that the only acceptable option is to work safely, you are forging the foundations of a strong culture that will protect your people and your business.



As always, with trust and respect you need to give it to get it. In strong workplace cultures, people are valued for themselves as well as for their ideas. And managers are valued as people, as well as leaders.



Keep it simple, easy to understand, deliver it in an interesting way

and tailor what you are saying so that everyone understands.



Strong cultures are inclusive cultures. When you’re building a strong health and safety culture, you need to actively involve everyone in your health and safety processes and decisions.



Organisations with a robust health and safety culture learn from past lessons, good and bad, and from the experiences of other organisations.


7 Characteristics of a Positive Safety Culture

1.Nothing takes precedent over safe work under any circumstances.

2.All personnel, from the front line to the senior leadership, share the same responsibility for safe work.

3.The safety system is informed by the workforce, not designed and enforced only by management.

4.Existing safety systems are constantly developed and improved.

5.Communication occurs openly between departments, members of the workforce, and management. communication is not just one-way and is always open and encouraged.

6.Management/leadership play an active role to demonstrate that the safety of the workforce is the top priority.

7.Incidents, safety issues, or stopping work for safety concerns are not met with negativity.



There certainly may be additional characteristics of a positive safety culture, and those outlined here could be given much more in-depth exploration. At the heart of the 7 characteristics are three key factors:



Without mastering these three, you can’t have a positive safety culture. Safety experts, academia, and modern workplaces are exploring the role of technology in strengthening these 3 factors, and thus building a more positive safety culture.


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