An assessment of the effectiveness of behaviour–based safety systems in establishing organisational culture
People, processes and teams form the basis of organisational success. Therefore the understanding and prediction of people and their behaviour- both individual and in a team - is a critical management activity. Behaviour of people are influenced by internal factors such as personality, abilities and skills, perception, beliefs and motives as well as by external factors from the environment in which the individual operates. Understanding these forces and their influence on the individual is paramount if one is to understand how to canalise these behaviours to achieve any given organisational goal. Another concept important to understand, is that of organisational culture which is regarded as beliefs, values and learned ways of coping with experience. Organisational culture develops during the course of an organisation's history, and has become a more and more important concept in organisations, due to its strategic nature and impact on business. The culture of an organisation can be influenced and changed naturally over time, or by using deliberate, carefully designed cultural change interventions. The maturity of an organisation's HSEC systems and processes and related improvement in performance, is related to the prevailing HSEC culture evident in the organisation. It is evident that as an organisation moves from a reactive safety culture to an interdependent safety culture, so does the HSEC performance and lagging indicators of the organisation increase. Behaviour-based safety processes endeavour to influence the individual employee's behaviour in order to improve the safety performance of an organisation. The benefits of behaviour-based safety programs are numerous and lead to reduced injuries and improved levels of safe behaviour amongst employees. Metalloys has selected behaviour-based safety as one of the tools to entrench a culture of zero harm in the organisation and to establish an empowered and enabled workforce. The effectiveness of this approach was assessed during this study The empirical research conducted for this study revealed that both the average response rate per construct and the responses per question within the various constructs reflect a positive response to the elements tested. It is evident from the results that a large proportion of the employees are of the opinion that communication processes are effectively established, employees are involved on a personal level, that there is sufficient supervisor support and that leadership exhibits visible leadership in the organisation. These are all constructs testing the elements required to effectively establish the culture of the organisation. In addition, a large proportion of the employees felt that HSEC systems are well entrenched and that facilities and equipment are of such a standard, as to ensure the safety of employees and that these are maintained at high levels.