About Blaine Donais

Blaine Donais is the author of Workplaces That Work and Engaging Unionized Employees (published by Carswell), and the WFI White Paper on Workplace Conflict Management in Canada, and The Art and Science of Workplace Mediation. Blaine performs workplace investigations, workplace restorations, grievance mediations, employment mediations and arbitrations, meeting facilitations and offers consulting services to workplaces across the country.

Why Workplace Fairness is Critical to Building Safety Culture


Many workplace leaders underline the importance of having a “safety culture”, but beyond the statements, policies and procedures, what are the key elements that make a workplace culture truly safe?

A prerequisite to creating a safety culture is to establish a culture of fairness characterized by respect and dignity for each workplace participant. This is because a culture of safety requires that employees believe they will be treated fairly and are safe to speak up about mistakes or safety risks.  Unintentional errors and unsafe acts will not be punished but used as learning experiences.  Furthermore, reckless or deliberate unsafe acts and unjustifiable risks will be punished.

Unsafe cultures are characterized by the fear of speaking up about safety hazards or risk because of fear of reprimands or sanctions and the related threat to one’s psychological safety. Unsafe workplace cultures also include those that view safety as a cost rather than … Read more...