Steps to an effective organisational safety strategy


Understanding safety culture is part of the journey towards improving organisational reliability. Organisations have responsibilities for the management of their risks, and to ensure adequate and appropriate risk mitigation. Obviously, the various Work Health and Safety Acts and Regulations exist to protect workers of all Australian organisations.

An effective Safety Strategy starts with understanding and investigation!

Central to the effectiveness of safety management is the concept of safety culture. The first two steps: ‘understand safety management systems’ (SMS) and ‘investigate safety culture’, are the elements about understanding the status quo; determining whether the processes, standards and systems are adequately designed and implemented. The assessment of safety culture will provide information that will help you to understand the efficacy of the safety management systems and help to prioritise the improvements to your organisation.

Improvement is the next step.

The next step following an investigation would be to ‘improve’, which could involve developing KPIs and procedures, or improving incident investigation, based on signposting from your safety culture evaluation or your SMS audits. Other steps could improve development of behavioural safety programs to address unsafe behaviours, once organisational readiness has been determined and tactical improvements derived from the safety culture assessment have been delivered. The endpoint of this journey would be an organisation well on the road towards being labelled a ‘High Reliability Organisation‘ – a term used to describe an organisation that has avoided major catastrophies while engaged in high risk activity. The name comes from studies conducted in the 1980s, as described by Lekka and Sugden (2011).


For more information, go to –