What makes an organization a safety superstar? A strong EHS team? Good safety policies? Outstanding employees?
It’s a combination of factors, but for many of the safest companies currently in business today, it boils down to the same shared trait: a mindset that puts safety first.
The three companies highlighted here demonstrate the power that a safety first mindset truly holds over your organization. Here’s a look at three of the companies with the best safety culture, how they built their cultures, and how you can follow in their footsteps.
1. ACCO Brands Corp.
ACCO Brands Corp. is a school supplies manufacturer based out of Lake Zurich, Illinois. According to EHS director James Edwards, “[ACCO Brands] has a vision, values, and leadership promise produced by our CEO and executive officers. Our senior management lives these principles to be role models in setting the right example, as well as coach and mentor our employees to meet and exceed the cultural and performance expectations we have established for ourselves.”
For ACCO Brands, safety is more than a priority. It truly is a core value, and it’s part of everything they do. It’s also the responsibility of every person at the company, not just the EHS team members made up of hourly workers and management available on every job site.
Every employee is responsible for updating their job hazard analysis at least once per year to ensure it is still current and make changes in conjunction with their supervisor.
2. Swift & Staley
Swift & Staley Inc. (SSI) provides facility support services and is a prime contractor with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). As a contractor, this means that SSI is committed to the DOE’s Integrated Safety Management System concepts, which is based on five functions:
- Define the scope of work
- Analyze hazards related to the work
- Identify and implement hazard controls
- Perform work within those controls
- Develop feedback and engage in continuous improvement
But more than that, SSI has a strong safety program in its own right, founded on the philosophy that every accident is preventable and that safety is the first priority for all work. For this reason, it uses a “zero accident” work culture and philosophy, achieved by granting every employee, contractor, subcontractor, consultant, and even visitor with a Stop-Work authority.
3. Scot Forge
Last but not least is Scot Forge, an employee-owned metal forging provider. The company’s safety is built on its “Brother’s Keeper” philosophy, which states that every employee is responsible for looking out for every other employee.
After all, every employee is an owner, which means that it is every employee’s first responsibility is to ensure that work is completed safely. It also enforces a service leadership mentality designed to equip every employee with the tools they need to continue improving safety in their work area.
Joining the Ranks of Companies with the Best Safety Culture
Joining the ranks of companies with the best safety culture is a noble goal. But as these companies demonstrate, getting there requires a steady commitment to safety and the right tools to reinforce your safety culture.