There is no easy or simple way to create a positive safety culture, as it evolves over time and is a reflection of the true values of the organization. It is generally agreed that safety culture improvement is driven by senior leaders (see page on Leadership).
Creating and maintaining a positive safety culture is a continuous and ongoing process that takes effort. Organizations should adopt a systematic approach to safety culture improvement. This involves creating a shared vision for the desired culture, specifying responsibilities of key groups to create this culture, putting plans and actions in place to promote the desired culture, assessing the culture on an ongoing basis, auditing safety culture processes and reviewing progress and creating improvement plans. If an organization is not actively promoting a positive safety culture, then it is very unlikely to maintain a positive culture over time.
The safety culture vision is similar to a safety policy statement or mission statement. It is a short statement outlining the desired safety culture that the organization is working towards. It should be a statement that all employees can read and agree that this would be a good culture to have. The creation of this statement should be an inclusive process that enables as many people to contribute as possible. This statement should be reviewed regularly.
The creation and maintenance of a positive safety culture requires everyone to fulfill their specific responsibilities. It is therefore important to specify the responsibilities and accountabilities of key groups (e.g. managers, supervisors and employees) in creating and maintaining a positive safety culture.