397930 Safety Culture and Leadership- Independent of Language

Monday, April 27, 2015
Exhibit Hall 5 (Austin Convention Center)
Kumar (CHRIS) Israni, Americas Risk Practice, Environmental Resources Management, Houston, TX, Yaneira Saud, Americas Risk Practice, ERM, Houston, TX, Sandra Lovell, ERM, Swansea, United Kingdom and Sarah Acton, ERM, Houston, TX

 The existence of safety in the workplace is mandatory for a sustainable business. Strong safety cultures are characterized by workforce engagement and fully committed safety leadership. With that being said, increased diversity in work environments and international recruitment can oftentimes complicate the process of implementing a common safety culture.

 More specifically, those who come from different types of work environments than their current environment may have trouble interpreting the procedures and guidelines that are enforced at their new place of employment. Differences in languages and dialects may also lead to misinterpretations of intended safety guidelines. Lastly, there may be some instances where the workplace follows a non-flexible and hierarchical structure that is not very open to change.

 In order to best develop safety practices in the workforce, the senior leaders need to first develop an environment based on the understanding of the different rationales and expectations of a multi-cultural workforce. Once that has been established, communicating with the workforce on safety expectations of the organization and optimizing interpretation of this message is critical.  

 This paper will continue the discussion from a previous publication; how safety leadership can consider linguistic differences when implementing a safety plan for a diverse workforce.  The discussions will emphasize the learnings of the Bradley Curve, showing how important it is to follow safe practices to reach the proximity of an almost 100% incident free area, and will provide real examples from international work assignments and diverse work teams, highlighting this need and offering potential approaches.


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