Group Report Topic Your group has been hired as a team of consultants to provide some theoretically sound and practical advice to the Chief Executive Officer of Bruno Smallgoods. Founded in 1920, the Bruno family of farmers and butchers had a dream to provide the Australian public with the finest quality meat, cured using traditional Italian recipes. In 2017, the Brunos are a major supplier of smallgoods to the Australian market. The product range spans across traditional Italian salami, ham, bacon and smallgoods. The family-owned company has state-of-the-art facilities located in Bundoora, Victoria and employs over 250 workers. The company has a very flat organisational structure – the CEO reports to a Board of Directors (made up of members of the Bruno family). Each department has a manager, with the production department having supervisors who directly manage the production line workers.
In a recent independent health and safety investigation, the auditor found ‘multiple instances of lax safety practices by front line workers’ and ‘a poor attitude towards safety amongst front line staff, supervisors and middle management’. However, the auditor commended senior management on their general commitment to the safety of workers, but found ‘this has not translated into safe working practices on the factory floor’. The auditor cited several examples of dangerous practices he witnessed on the production line, including workers reaching into meat mincers to remove blockages whilst the mincer was operating; poor manual handling practices; workers not wearing their personal protective equipment; dangerous use of forklifts; equipment such as knives not being put away properly; and safety barriers on machines being removed to speed up the production process. In his recommendations, the auditor suggested that Bruno Smallgoods ‘work towards developing a culture of safety within the organisation’.
Joseph Bruno, the CEO, is concerned about his workers’ safety. In a private meeting, he commented “It’s just a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or dies on the factory floor. What can I do? We have good procedures. We have spent a lot of money on making sure the factory is safe. But, I can’t make the supervisors and employees follow our safety procedures…..I can’t watch them all the time”. Joseph has hired your group to come up with five recommendations as to how he can create a ‘safety culture’ within Bruno Smallgoods. He has asked for a comprehensive Report that he can give to the Board of Directors. The Report should:
1. Define the term ‘safety culture’ (drawing on appropriate academic literature)
2. Explain how a safety culture can improve safety behaviours of employees (drawing on appropriate academic literature)
• Findings and discussion [defining key concepts such as safety culture or climate; summarising the main findings in the literature about how to improve safety outcomes in organisations, drawing on appropriate academic studies and Government reports]
Define the term ‘safety culture’ (drawing on appropriate academic literature) Explain how a safety culture can improve safety behaviours of employees (drawing on appropriate academic literature)
Suggested literature for safety culture/safety climate Clarke, S. (1999) ‘Perceptions of organizational safety: Implications for the development of safety culture’. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 20(2): 185.