Organisations use the term “safety maturity” to assess their performance and their capability to maintain an enhanced safety management status. Safety maturity shows the level at which any organization can manage its actions and manipulate its internal procedures, resulting in a better safety performance promoting what is called: safety culture.
As presented in the image above, the ladder has a variety of steps, beginning from the pathological, to reactive, to calculative, to proactive to finally generative.
Specifically, Mr Belokas, Managing Editor at SAFETY4SEA has commented that 'while this is a maturity ladder, one needs to bear in mind that there is no elevation of safety by default, there is no magic recipe, fast track or one size fits all approach'.
In the meantime, the video provides an explanation of the safety ladder's steps. As such:
- Pathological safety: People don't really care about health and safety they are only driven by regulatory compliance and by not getting caught.
- Reactive safety: Safety is taken seriously, but it only gets sufficient attention after things have already gone wrong. People say things like 'you have to understand it's different here'.
- Calculative safety: Where an organization is comfortable with systems and figures, a management system has been implemented successfully. And because health and safety are taken very seriously there was major concentration upon the statistics. Bonuses are tied to them, bad news is tolerated but still unwelcome. In calculative organizations lots of data were collected and analyzed. People feel comfortable by making changes to procedures and processes. There were many too audits and people begin to feel that they are secured the situation. Nevertheless businesses at this level still get people hurt and are surprised. When this happens the system should have worked.
- Proactive safety: Moving away from managing health and safety based on what happened in the past, to really looking forward and not just working to prevent last week accidents. Proactive organizations consider what might go wrong in the future and take steps before being forced to. Proactive organizations are those where the workforce become involved in practice not just in theory. They analyzed the causes of the accidents in depth, but also pay attention to dangerous situations and near misses.
- Generative safety: Generative organizations set very high standards and attempt to exceed them, rather than being satisfied with a minimum compliance. They are brutally honest about failure, but use it to improve, not to blame anyone. They don't expect to get it right all the time as long as they continue to get better. Management knows what's really going on because the workforce is willing to tell them and trust them not to overreact by hearing unwelcome news. People live in a stage of chronic unease and are aware about what could go wrong. They are trying to be as informed as possible to get prepared for whatever will be thrown at them next. Bad news is actively looked for.
Concluding, this evolutive ladder could be used as a route map, and every company can understand its level maturity.