Culture of Safety

Workplace attitudes towards safety exemplify the importance of organizational culture to the details of everyday work. The SARS outbreak served as a tragic reminder that how health employers and governments approach healthcare is fundamental to worker control over their work environment. Disasters such as SARS in Ontario have highlighted the complexity of this issue and the range of physical, biological, radiological and chemical hazards that can be encountered on a regular basis. However, it is also an area of common interest that provides numerous opportunities at the government, union, facility, unit and individual levels to support and develop a culture of safety for all health workers. Addressing safety is an immediate priority, but changing the culture of healthcare organizations will be an enormous, but potentially transformative undertaking.

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