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Safety Culture as Primer for Organizational Learning and Psychological Health

June 26, 2014
Recorded in June, 2014

This presentation was given at the Creating and Sustaining Psychologically Healthy Workplaces: Learning from Research and Practice conference that was held on June 26-27, 2014.
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Research investigating factors influencing organizational safety culture, effective safety management and organizational learning is increasing. In 2013, the Canadian Safety Association (CSA) launched a new standard, Psychological health and safety in the workplace - Prevention, promotion, and guidance to staged implementation. This presentation reviews different perspectives on safety culture and discuss factors that influence safety culture from what is known from research and reflecting on personal observations and experience gained over a career of 25 years in several industries and continents. The presentation compares factors that enhance workplace safety, with factors that support  organizational learning and  psychological health and safety in the workplace. 

Is healthy safety culture a primer or antecedent for organizational learning and psychologically healthy workplaces? Understanding and identifying gaps in organizational learning, safety culture, and psychological mental health will assist occupational health and safety professionals and other stakeholders create better targeted implementation strategies to improve business performance and mitigate unnecessary disability.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand what is meant by “a safety culture,” “a learning organization” and “organizational psychological health”
  • Become aware of the potential overlap of the factors influencing them
  • Become aware of characteristics of organizations with a healthy safety culture
  • Consider a healthy safety culture as a primer for organizational learning and organizational psychological health



Heinrich Beukes, BTech (EH), N.Dip (PH), CRSP
Director, Safety and Prevention,Workplace Health - Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Heinrich was born and raised in South Africa. He obtained a National Diploma in Public Health in 1992 and a Bachelors degree in Environmental Health from the Cape Peninsula University in 1995.

He worked for one of the largest transportation companies in the world – Transnet Ltd. as a Risk Professional. He immigrated to Canada in 2001 and worked as a Regional Safety Consultant for the Ontario Safety Association for Community and Healthcare until 2006. He then accepted the position of Health and Safety Manager at the Molson Vancouver Brewery. He worked for FIOSA-MIOSA from 2008-2013 as the Director of Services and Resources and his key accomplishment has been the development of FIOSA-MIOSA’s COR Audit program. He currently works for Vancouver Coastal Health as the Director of Safety and Prevention.

Heinrich has more than 23 years of experience in Safety Management, Occupational Hygiene and Environmental Management. He specializes in program auditing and safety management system development as well as program implementation. He has several national and international accreditations and holds a CRSP designation and is the Director of Professional Development for CSSE, Fraser Valley Chapter. He has written several published technical Health and Safety articles for the Healthcare, Food Processing and the Manufacturing Industries and worked on various provincial initiatives with the WSIB and the Ministry of Labour in Ontario as well and WorkSafeBC here in British Columbia.


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Last Modified: 4/3/2017 9:14 AM