Overall, the debate of nurture vs nature is not one that I am will to address. There are, though, some aspects of nature and nurture in the way safety becomes behavioral and organizational.
For the sake of simplicity, nature will be defined as someone’s general safety philosophy before entering the workplace. Nurture will be defined as the way the company or organization creates safety or how they influence employees in regards to safety
When nature is positive and nurture is positive, the outcome is a total safety experience. The individual comes to an organization with an innate ability and conscious of how to work safe and avoid unnecessary risk. The organization has also create a culture where safety is a top priority and the systems are in place to keep safety in the forefront. When these two items come together, it is nothing short of safety magic!
There is an individual that has a strong desire to see risk and find ways to mitigate that risk, all the while the organization is seeking ways to be more self-diagnosing and culturally open to continuous improvement. These two build a process in which they feed off each other.
As the individual’s nature leads to better ways to be safe, the nurture of the organization takes those methods and makes them systemic. The best methodology is found and then spread as a best practice. Since the nurturing organization is positive, they give the credit to the individual. Not only does this make the individual seek more opportunities, it invigorates others that may not have a natural sense of risk avoidance to seek new ways to overcome safety issues. The cycle self-perpetuates and creates an entire team seeking new and better ways to engage in keeping people safe.
This is a best case scenario. It creates a negatively skewed bell curve in which the measurement is safety behaviors per person. This creates an organization in which more people that average are exhibiting safety behaviors.