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A strong health and safety culture doesn’t just happen; you achieve it through planning and execution every step of the way. To get the job done well, you need the right tools, materials and equipment, with upskilling and training tailored to each worker. Most importantly, you must ensure work flows in the right sequence. You need to invest time, talent and resources to perform robust safety orientations with team members and view any unplanned events as opportunities to learn and improve through well-executed incident investigations.

New Hire Safety Orientations

Building a psychologically safe culture requires intentional and consistent action. New Hire Safety Orientations are your opportunity to immerse team members into your safety culture and engage them in a way that is meaningful to them, developing relationships and a sense of belonging.  

These orientations should involve leaders and are more than simply paperwork and videos. If your company is just starting your industry-leading safety journey (and culture shift), what a new hire experiences in the field might be different than what you reviewed during onboarding. How you handle this differential during the implementation phase is important for the future success of that employee. When you implement improvements successfully, everyone experiences the sense of being on the journey together.

Incident Investigations

Incident investigations are traditionally performed following unplanned events such as an injury or property damage. But you can achieve greater success by investigating every unplanned event—whether that unplanned event has a positive or negative outcome. When the unexpected happens, you need to investigate. This includes near misses (near hits, good catches, etc.) as well as finding out why something went exceptionally better than planned. Those investigations are also learning opportunities.

Take your incident investigations a step further; go beyond the standard practices and techniques. if worker error was a root cause of the incident, dig deeper to understand the context and conditions that influenced the workers in that situation. Be curious and create a psychological safe space to engage your team to determine why their actions made sense in the context and conditions of the incident. Only then can you fully learn from the experience and continue building your health and safety culture.

The Journey to Industry-Leading Results

The roadmap to building a strong health and safety culture begins with improving new hire safety orientations and intentional incident investigations. It seems simple, but the reality is that this journey does not happen by itself. We must be committed to safety as a core value every day and in every situation to achieve industry-leading results. Leaders and all team members must be committed to supporting each other to drive results.

Looking for help building your safety program?

Discover resources available through ABC’s STEP Safety Management System and other health and safety topics at

For more information or assistance, please reach out to Joe Xavier or Aaron Braun.