This is the third and final blog in a series covering topics explored by Safe365 co-founder, Nathan Hight, in his most recent IIRSM webinar. This blog will look at how to position health and safety beyond compliance so you can get broader buy-in and engagement from your Board, embedding health and safety into the culture of your business.
The compliance mindset
One key issue facing health and safety and its advancement is the difference between compliance and recognising what good looks like. For many businesses, complying with what the law states feels like enough, even though it represents the bare minimum, instead of best practice.
When compliance is put at the forefront, health and safety go from having a focus on people’s livelihoods to a box-ticking exercise to pass on paper. For the world of health and safety, this rings alarm bells, as ticking the boxes off doesn’t always translate to having health and safety capabilities.
When a Board holds a compliance mindset, this can also lead to demonstration, instead of integration. We all know that putting your best foot forward is the right way to go when it comes to being assessed, but doesn’t compare to taking the best steps possible every single day.
Thresholds are the bread and butter of a compliance mindset, and while important, ultimately do not guarantee worker safety. To move away from the thresholds set by others, new thresholds and standards are needed, ones that will push for greater health and safety maturity.
Expanding to better horizons
The step above having a compliance mindset is having a safety and risk maturity focus, which comes with a whole new set of challenges, but also rewards.
Instead of having a single-minded approach, where legality is the only focus, a safety and risk maturity focus brings together different elements in the health and safety sphere. This is not to say legal standards aren’t important, they certainly are, but they only set the minimum requirements, not what we should aspire to.
A safety and risk maturity focus brings together three different schools of thought:
- Regulatory (compliance)
- Recognised best practice (ISO standards)
- Emerging best practice, which exists within leadership, culture and behaviours
Between these three areas, a more balanced approach can be taken, where moral and ethical approaches sit beside legal compliance and best practice.
By taking on a maturity focus, instead of ticking the boxes of those outside of the organisation, a focus is put on an improvement internally, with the help of external factors such as regulations and ISO standards.
To learn more about using maturity profiling as a vehicle for health and safety excellence, Nick Englemann, Safe365 GM of Technical Services provides an overview discussing the process he’s been through with many organisations on this journey.
In the here and now
For many organisations, it can feel like a stretch to target the highest levels of health and safety maturity. But instead, it involves a change in mindset. As a health and safety professional or a supportive Board member, your job is to help change this mindset amongst those around you.
In the world of modern health and safety, mature Boards are getting on board, truly taking on a balanced approach, many with the help of Safe365.
Every Board looking to change is in need of a starting point, whether it’s starting from a point of low maturity, or understanding how to become champions within the health and safety space.
At Safe365, we’ve helped thousands of businesses start their journey to a balanced health and safety approach.
To learn more about how you can use maturity profiling to set goals and drive improvement in your health and safety culture, sign up for a free trial of Safe365 and complete your health and safety assessment to see where your organisation stands today and where you could be tomorrow.
To read more about health and safety and Boards, head to our two previous articles:
- How to bridge the gap between yourself and your leadership to gain H&S traction
- How to engage your C-suite and Board in your health and safety story
To gain even more insight, watch Safe365 Co-Founder, Nathan Hight, present his webinar to emerging risk leaders at IIRSM.