Topic Outsourcing HR / PEO

How to Improve Your Safety Culture through HR Outsourcing

How to Improve Your Safety Culture through HR Outsourcing

On-the-job safety applies to every job. While safety concerns might commonly be associated with high-risk jobs like construction and mining work, office jobs are held to the same standard of safety for every employee. Fire safety, equipment safety, and best practices to reduce the risk of injury apply to corporate jobs just as much as fieldwork, and offices should protect their employees' safety with the best possible resources. This includes an HR outsourcing partner trained to help create and maintain a culture of safety.

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What Is Safety Culture?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines safety culture as:

"[the] shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment [about safety]. Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior."

By putting a safety culture in place and constantly building on it with employee buy-in, your company can create a proactively and cooperatively safe work environment for everyone. Your employees need the resources, education, and motivation to create safe behaviors.

While establishing rules and having the physical tools to maintain a safe environment are essential, they're not enough to make a workplace safe. You can't force workplace safety with requirements, demands, and negative reinforcement. A strong safety culture helps turn safety compliance into a positive that makes safety easier to maintain.

What Are the Characteristics of a Strong Safety Culture?

A strong safety culture requires these elements:

  • Prioritization: A safety culture won't be maintained by short-term initiatives. Make it clear that a safety culture is a long-term priority by making it a topic that won't be dropped to the bottom of the list or pushed to the next quarter.
  • Leadership buy-in: This is a subset of prioritization. Leaders across multiple departments must be willing to put safety education and safety culture above any other priorities in their department. Only this will signal to employees that they can add to the safety culture without an opportunity cost or retribution.
  • Knowledge: Training courses, educational materials, and experts are a required element to build, monitor, scale, and improve every safety culture.
  • Feedback and cooperation: Just like there must be leadership buy-in, there must be employee buy-in. The best way to secure it is by having employees meaningfully engage with it. Feedback, easy processes for suggesting improvements, and communication tools should be part of your safety culture.
  • A plan: The individuals primarily responsible for your safety culture should have a plan for its initiatives, training, discipline systems, and onboarding new hires. 

An HR outsourcing partner is an excellent source for many of these required attributes of a strong safety culture.

How Does an HR Outsourcing Partner Improve Safety Culture?

Whether your internal team doesn't know how to build a robust safety culture or doesn't have time to take on the project, an HR outsourcing partner can create the program and help it stay on track. Outsourcing partners bring these strengths to the table:

Enable a World-Class Safety Program

HR outsourcing partners with safety culture experts can quickly help your company build a safety culture that's both entrenched in universal best practices and personalized to your business's unique needs. They do so with these two elements:


Good safety culture programs start with available processes and resources for employees to give feedback, address concerns, and make their opinions known. HR experts can roll out these processes immediately with tested mechanisms for helping employees feel comfortable being honest.

Training and Education

Third-party HR services can provide training modules, on-site classes, safety manuals, and other resources for both managers and employees. It's important to use proper materials that satisfy any applicable requirements and regulations for hazards in your business's workplace.

OSHA Compliance Assistance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to develop safety standards and enforce those standards. Your safety culture and programs should ensure your employees are knowledgeable about any standards that impact their work. A third-party HR and safety expert will know what standards your business is accountable to, how to establish compliance, and how to prove compliance in the event of an audit or investigation.

Return-to-Work Programs

Even with robust safety cultures, accidents happen and injuries may occur. Build your safety culture with the tools and resources for injured employees to return to work. Return to Work programs establish protocols for time off, returning to work with part-time hours or lighter duties, and getting rehabilitated so employees can enjoy a healthy return to work. This gives employees a return to income and normal life without rushing recovery and risking reinjury. This improves the safety culture by showing your company is invested in your employees' long-term health and safety.

Reach Employees With Effective Safety Knowledge and Resources

Training and knowledge resources aren't enough — access is crucial for every safety culture to succeed. When you partner with an HR outsourcing organization, you gain immediate use to time-tested web portals, online resources, and vetted safety manuals that your employees need to stay educated. 

Improve Communication

Ultimately, a strong safety culture prioritizes communication, and an outsourced HR partner can help with that. They act as a third party to mediate communications between employees and management, provide knowledgeable answers, and have the resources and training to strengthen relationships throughout your company. 

Build a Stronger Safety Culture With HR Outsourcing

Achieving a safer workplace with fewer risks requires time, effort, and a culture rooted in safety. This isn't an easy task. HR outsourcing can help support your company by providing trained expertise, resources, and organizational tools to build a thriving safety culture.

How the Right HR Outsourcing Partner Brings you Closer to Your Dreams

Christie Obrien

Christie Obrien

Christie is a Human Resource Consultant specializing in employee relations, legal compliance, and recruiting.