Safety vs. Culture

April 12 2021
By: Terry L. Mathis

Although we humans changed our behavior to avoid the risk of the pandemic, our cultural norms are now pulling us in another direction. The custom of spring break at the beach won out over COVID precautions and returning to bars and restaurants is doing the same. When the risk is relatively low probability and the habits are strong, humans can easily revert. Each individual whose personal experience with COVID is minimal may perceive the danger to be low. If you don't know anyone closely who had a severe case or died, your sense of vulnerability may be very low. Safety vs. Culture

The same thing happens in organizations even when there is no pandemic. This is why forming the right kind of safety culture is so critically important. The culture should encourage safe practices instead of promoting risks. Safety should come naturally rather than in opposition to common practice. Improving safety culture requires a lot of work, but the rewards more than justify the effort!

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.

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