Professor Patrick Hudson said ‘but doesn’t all this safety stuff cost? No this safety stuff makes you money’. This was when he was talking about what is called the ‘Hudson safety maturity model’.
We use this model a lot with our clients, wanting to improve their safety culture, we like the simplicity of the model but also that it works with changing a culture, a culture meaning the ‘way we do things around here’, but many don’t know how to get there.
What’s interesting is that WHS management systems are an important part of the a culture journey, people must understand what the rules are and what happens when rules are broken and the reward when rules are followed. Getting those basic things right first gives you a strong foundation. So often we speak to businesses that don’t believe having their systems working for them and ‘right’ as part of the culture journey but it very much is.
Another interesting point is the research that Professor Hudson found and what we also found with our clients is when you ask where they think they sit on the maturity ladder, it’s usually 1 or 1.5 steps ahead of where they actually are.
Businesses that are lower on the maturity ladder tend to have higher numbers of incidents, but we’ve also found they also have higher turnover and lower productivity levels, therefore improving your safety culture, overall is not only good for reduction of incidents, but for the overall health and profitability of your business.