Q&A: Creating an Effective and Sustainable Safety Culture

In our recent webinar “Creating an Effective and Sustainable Safety Culture,” hosted in partnership with EHS Today, we discussed Milliken’s Safety structure and how to drive safety performance and continuous improvement by establishing associate leadership as the cornerstone of your system. We had great participation during the Q&A and we wanted to share that conversation with you!


Jordan Workman, Director of Client Development for North America & Europe, Performance Solutions by Milliken


Here are a few takeaways from the webinar’s Q&A session.

Q: How do you overcome attempts to change your safety culture when leadership doesn’t believe that change is needed and does not fully support changes?

Jordan: You always have to look at leadership in terms of understanding what is important to them and what they’re held accountable to. If you have specific results that are poor within the safety structure and it’s just deprioritized, in some cases it’s important to get a leadership commitment at a level higher, which is not always easy to do. You’ve got to get to a level where you can either demonstrate that a new structure is going to have an incentive or a benefit to the entire organization rather than just saying it needs to change.

Q: When you are at the predictive level focusing on hazard/risk reduction, are you still having the associate led teams or have you moved away from them?

Jordan: When you are in that predictive phase and focusing on hazard/risk reduction, you are relying more heavily on the associate led teams. So, the structure that I talked about with the steering committee and the subcommittees below it, those are all chaired, run and led by the hourly associates. The way that that works in conjunction with management is that a management member would serve a s sponsor for each of those subcommittees and a plant manager would likely serve as sponsor for the steering committee.

Q: Your subcommittees, do they meet daily, weekly, or monthly? Also, when do chair members meet to discuss the subcommittees?

Jordan: You have steering committee that would be on a weekly basis and subcommittee meetings that are different depending on the site. They may meet every 2-3 weeks. For instance, if you have 3 shifts, it’s going to be difficult to get all 3 shifts in 1 meeting, so we may vary the time. We encourage them to over-communicate what they’re doing and they’re progress so that when the committee is held at a different time, progress can still be made.

If you missed this webinar or would like to view it again, this webinar is available on demand. View on demand webinar.

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