Surveys are an essential part of an efficient health and safety program.
Safety surveys help to assess what is in place and being completed (i.e. ensuring safety talks are being delivered, safety inspections are being conducted, policies are being reviewed, etc.). Safety surveys also assess employees’ perceptions of how effective the health and safety program is, and provide insight into how it might be improved.
Safety surveys are useful for many reasons, included (but not limited to):
Monitor compliance with standards (or targets) and procedures.
Detect problems: why certain incidents keep happening, why safety rules are not being followed, why certain elements of the safety program are working or not working, etc.
Help identify priority areas that require attention: employees' comments often contain specific preventive information that are applicable to their area.
Get a sense of direction for improvement: target specific improvement/corrective actions.
Gain key insights into your organization's safety culture: give employees a voice and the opportunity to share their concerns and suggestions.
Promote safety culture through engagement and concern: send a positive message that employees’ contributions are valued from the top down.
Monitor and understand worker attitudes and perceptions about the organization’s safety program and rules and reveal any discrepancies between employees and management: employees’ attitudes and perceptions guide their behaviour and to influence or change negative perceptions, employers/management need to be aware of them.
Bridge the communication gap: ensure open communication, trust and connect with employees. Employees who have high levels of organizational trust are shown to have high engagement levels as well.
Address taboo topics: employees can respond anonymously to sensitive questions that are otherwise difficult to ask.
Enable continuous improvement of your safety program/culture: monitor your organization's results over time and address issues of concern as they are identified.
Culture Survey questions sample. Use a scale (Strongly agree, Agree, Neither, Strongly disagree, Disagree) rather than yes or no
Management encourages working safely and raising safety issues or hazards.
Management acts quickly when a safety concern or problem is raised.
I know exactly what to do when I see a hazard in the workplace.
I am encouraged to report any safety problems.
Safety is as important as the quality of the work and getting the work done on time.
Employees and management work together to ensure the safest possible conditions.
No shortcuts are taken when employee safety is involved.
The safety of employees is a high priority for management.
Employees who act safely receive positive recognition (feedback).
Employees are told when they do not follow safety practices.
There are frequent communications about safety issues.
Formal checks (inspections) are regularly done to see if employees are following safety rules.
Employees are regularly consulted about safety issues.
Employees are involved in decisions affecting their safety.
I have the information I need to work safety.
Everyone receives the necessary workplace health and safety training when starting a job, changing jobs or using new techniques.
Safety issues are given a high priority in training.
Coworkers often help and remind each other to work safely.
Everyone at my workplace values ongoing improvement to safety.
My workplace has a safety committee that is effective at improving safety.
I’m clear about my rights, responsibilities and the safety rules that affect me.
Everyone has the tools and/or equipment they need to do their work safely.
How would you describe working at your company in three words?
If you could change one thing about the company’s culture, it would be…