eTools Home: Safety & Health Management Systems References | Site Map | Credits
Safety & Health Management Systems eTool
Safety & Health Culture

What is this thing called culture?

The Great Wall of China

Group meeting

Culture is a combination of an organization's:

  • Attitudes,
  • Behaviors,
  • Beliefs,
  • Values,
  • Ways of doing things, and
  • Other shared characteristics of a particular group of people.

Culture Can:

  • Socialize newcomers.
  • Define influence.
  • Determine values.

A strong safety and health culture is the result of:

  • Positive workplace attitudes from the president to the newest hire.
  • Involvement and buy-in of all members of the workforce.
  • Mutual, meaningful, and measurable safety and health improvement goals.
  • Policies and procedures that serve as reference tools, rather than obscure rules.
  • Personnel training at all levels within the organization.
  • Responsibility and accountability throughout the organization.

When these criteria are consistently and effectively aimed at accident reduction, a positive safety and health culture is created.

What are the basic elements of a safety and health culture?

  • All individuals within the organization believe they have a right to a safe and healthy workplace [Sound Clip, 22 seconds].
  • Each person accepts personal responsibility for ensuring his or her own safety and health.
  • Everyone believes he or she has a duty to protect the safety and health of others.

As you learn more about the components of an effective safety and healthful management system, methods to assist in developing or improving your safety and health culture will be provided.


Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing MP3 materials.
eTools Home: Safety & Health Management Systems References | Site Map | Credits