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BST: Culture of Commitment is Key to Reducing Workplace Injuries

OJAI, CA--(Marketwired - April 28, 2014) - Workers in the United States experience nearly 3 million injuries on the job every year. To keep employees safe, leaders often focus on rules and regulations and use compliance as a measure of safety success. According to BST experts, an over focus on compliance standards, however, can actually backfire and create blind spots for injury potential. It can also create missed opportunities for using the knowledge and experience of the workforce. Global safety consulting firm BST suggests practical steps for moving beyond compliance in the book chapter, "Attributes of a Culture of Commitment."

BST is proud to offer for download the chapter "Attributes of a Culture of Commitment," from its most recent book, The Manager's Guide to Workplace Safety. This download is offered as part of a wider conversation the consulting firm has been hosting this year on why employees don't always "follow the rules". The chapter offers an answer in the form of the need for the "culture of commitment". In it, authors Don Groover and Scott Stricoff offer practical steps leaders can take to create a culture that supports safe work.

Why good employees consistently fail to follow safety procedures and rules is a hotly contested question in the safety field. Leaders are often perplexed at the disconnect between rules and regulations and work practices. Signs are posted, rules are enforced, training is provided, and disciplinary actions are taken, but variation from expectations and accidents still happen. BST experts say that compliance-focused safety, and the frustration that comes with it, is a phase many organizations go through on the way to safety improvement, but it is not the endpoint.

"Safety excellence takes more than just following rules," says BST senior vice president and book co-author Don Groover, "Rules are static, but the live workplace is constantly changing." According to BST, the true mark of the culture of commitment is the "2 am test". That is, what happens at 2 o'clock in the morning when no one is around and the managers have all gone home? Even if no one will know, does the employee follow procedures and guidelines because it is the right thing to do? In a culture of commitment, the answer is likely to be yes.

According to Groover, creating a culture of commitment doesn't mean doing away with procedures and processes. Instead, it uses three basic steps to build on and support them. First, understand your organization; how are you demonstrating a value for safety and how does safety create value? Next, ensure that processes and procedures contribute to that value. Finally, empower individuals to exercise judgment and equip them with the skills, information, and experience they need to make good decisions on their own. "It won't happen overnight," Groover says, "It really comes down to changing just one behavior at a time."

The book chapter, "Attributes of a Culture of Commitment" is available at http://bstsolutions.com.bstsolutions.com/en/chapter-27. A supplemental webinar recording on Why Don't People Follow the Rules? is available at http://vimeo.com/87865308.

About BST
BST (http://www.bstsolutions.com), a DEKRA company, is a global safety consulting and solutions firm headquartered in Ojai, California. With staff on every continent, BST has helped over 3,200 client sites in 71 countries improve safety performance. BST's work encompasses a range of industries, including mining, petroleum, chemical, metals, paper, food, utilities, railroads, healthcare, and government.

About DEKRA
DEKRA S.E. (http://www.dekra.com/en/home) is a major global player in the safety solutions market. Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, DEKRA has approximately 30,000 employees operating in 50 countries. Known for its work in the industrial and automotive certification and testing markets, DEKRA has expanded to the consulting sector in recent years as part of its global commitment to safety.

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