Symposium Examines Corporate Culture’s Impact on Safety

Dec. 1, 2008
A January symposium in Costa Mesa, Calif., offered by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) will examine “Building a Successful Safety Culture.” The symposium will teach participants how to unwrap a corporation’s culture and incorporate safety in an effort to reduce on-the-job deaths and injuries.

The Jan. 22-23, 2009, symposium will teach how to assess the characteristics of the safety culture in an organization to identify strengths and weaknesses; to develop strategies for safety culture improvements that lead to reductions in injuries and illnesses; to recognize the influence an organization’s culture has on safety performance and apply that knowledge; to determine how an organization’s safety culture is affected by corporate leaders; and how to apply principles from case studies of safety cultural improvements in other organizations to their organization.

According to ASSE, “the culture of an organization guides how its employees work, dress, make decisions, think, communicate and behave. Continued improvement in levels of safety requires the development of a comprehensive safety culture at all levels of an organization, with visible and consistent leadership from senior management. In order to achieve it you need management leadership and employee participation.”

Leaders in the field of culture change presenting at the ASSE symposium include Drs. Steven Simon, Thomas Krause and Anne French, who will share strategies and offer methods for improving safety cultures in organizations. In addition, opening remarks will be given by Dr. Marilyn Buckner, leadership and change authority, who will provide tools and guide attendees through the development of an assessment of their organizations’ cultures. Twenty concurrent sessions on techniques to assess culture, approaches to change the culture of your organization, and strategies to sustain positive safety performance will be offered.

The symposium also will offer presentations on the culture change achievements of organizations such as Coors, Harley-Davidson, General Mills and others, which can be applied to other organizations. A panel of executive leaders from several corporations will provide their perspective on the role of the safety professional in changing culture and how they can be instrumental in making change happen. Case study roundtables will also take place to help attendees sort through the information delivered at this event and determine the methods most appropriate for the needs of their organizations.

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