BY NOW, YOU PROBABLY HAVE A SAFET Y program. But does it work? Are the results what you expected?
And what is a reasonable expectation
Usually when leaders establish
safety programs, they cover the
administrative requirements and
maybe some compliance and legal
requirements, but the leaders lack
the con;dence in their programs
that would allow them to sleep better
That’s how con;dent leaders
should be about their safety programs.
WHAT DOES SAFET Y
Safety leadership, for some leaders,
means setting a good example, having
a passion for safety or showing care
and concern for their people.
Regardless of the de;nition of
safety leadership, a successful safety
program requires committed safety
leaders. Let’s examine the differences
between committed and uncommitted
Committed safety leaders. All
injuries are preventable, committed
safety leaders believe. They advise
employees that working safely is a
condition of employment, and they
know that commitment to safety
is led from the top. These leaders
recognize that they are responsible
for safety performance and that
personal injury prevention is good
business. They also promote off-the-
job safety because 24/7 safety is key
to any successful business — not just
something employees do to satisfy
job requirements or client demands.
Uncommitted safety leaders.
Falsehoods ;ll the beliefs of
uncommitted safety leaders.
among these leaders put their
businesses at risk. Uncommitted
safety leaders think accidents and
injuries happen as consequences
of the work this industry performs.
They also blame worker attitudes.
Complacency and inattention, they
HOW TO BE A SAFET Y LEADER
say, are the reasons for “accidents.”
Uncommitted safety leaders also
complain that safety improvement
programs are too expensive. They
argue that safety controls and
processes just get in the way of
productivity, so how will they get
anything done? Uncommitted
safety leaders wrongly believe that
safety is the responsibility of a safety
If you’re a committed safety
leader, you can become even better.
And if you’re an uncommitted safety
leader, you can turn that around with
• Pay attention to your performance.
Your team is watching.
• Be intimately familiar with
employee injuries. Track the
“how” and “why” of each injury.
Better yet, track all incidents
whether someone was injured
• Know what you are asking
employees to do. Recall what it
was like when you were in the
;eld. (If you came up through a
different path, you must pay extra
attention to this.)
Ideas and Solutions
for Safer Workplaces
If you think that
happen,” then you might
be an uncommitted safety
leader. There’s hope for
you yet, though.