Safety: Why Culture Is Important

6Safety-HeaderFrench politician Edouard Herriot said “Culture is what is left when everything else is forgotten.” While he may have been focused more on croissants and fine wine, he understood the power of culture and its ability to unify, define and influence a group of people.

At Canal, we talk often about the importance of creating a “culture of safety” so that it becomes second-nature and impacts daily choices on the job. A true safety culture solidifies over-arching attitudes and habits, even as the regulations, trends and technologies change. When everyone understands the importance of safety, it’s easier to prioritize and react when new requirements appear. Safety rules are words on paper. A safety culture is a daily approach.

To help our insureds continually improve their own safety standards and outcomes, Canal hosts an annual Safety Seminar. This year it was held April 22-24 in Greenville, and the theme was Your Safety Culture: The Key to Driving Performance. Our keynote speaker at that event, Dan Baker, expressed why safety matters. Yes, it impacts the bottom line, but the real reason safety matters is the people. As he explained, our end goal should always be to deliver our drivers safely home – the moms and dads, husbands and wives who make it possible for everyone else to earn a living. He also emphasized the generational shift that is impacting not only our industry, but our entire world. Today’s newest workers arrive expecting an employer that puts more emphasis on human relationships than on the specific tasks and tactics of trucking. Are you ready to deliver? Showing you emphasize safety is a great way to actively demonstrate your concern.

If you weren’t able to attend the Safety Seminar itself, it’s not too late to learn. As an insured, if you’d like to hear a summary of Baker’s presentation, The People Side of Trucking: Recruiting, Retention, Culture Building and Generational Change, you can listen on While there, you can also review the other seminar presentations, including Handling Catastrophic Loss, Social Media & Trends in Litigation, Lytx DriveCam, Programs for Safety Focus Behavior and more.

The seminar was a great reminder of the main task we’re each given every day and how focusing on safety can help us attract, and ultimately protect, the most valuable cargo we haul – our drivers.