Active Safety leadership for sucess- By Dr. Isabel Perry, 21stCenturySafety

Organizations that have undergone major safety culture changes often agree that management commitment is the single "overwhelming" factor in achieving an effective safety and health program. Management leadership is a constant demonstration by the key managers in an organization that safety and health is a critical element of daily operations.

The following 18 examples are ones I have observed from site visits, interviews, benchmarking, safety conferences, etc. They all work somewhere (large companies, small companies). See how many you can use in your location. Success depends on the company culture and the nature of the organization.

Specific examples of active safety leadership include:

1. Chair the plant safety committee

2. Have the safety function, where assigned, report to him/her.

3. Have a Board of Director's Safety and Health Committee.

4. Hold a monthly plant-wide safety meeting where he/she takes questions and addresses safety issues.

5. Have fatality/recordable incidents reported directly to him/her at the time of occurrence or in a given time frame.

6. Ensure that organizational safety expectations are absolutely clear by asking every member of the organization about them.

7. Be present, and supportive, whenever key safety issues are decided. Demonstrate they are as important as key product and quality decisions.

8. Spend daily time in the work environment (factory floor, construction site, work areas) asking people about safety and observing and commenting on issues.

9. Start every meeting with a discussion of safety or a safety tip

10. Require a formal safety and health plan from every manager and hold them accountable for results.

11. Deliver the safety vision in person to every business/work unit (rather than sending it out in a memo).

12. Demonstrate commitment by picking up dropped items, moving obstructions, helping out for safety every day.

13. Make it clear that any accident is unacceptable and ask hard questions about everyone so people know he/she is really serious about having no accidents.

14. Empower every employee to do what's right for safety; support and encourage them when they make a mistake.

15. Try progressive approaches which fit into the company business strategy/and workplace culture.

16. Personally, attend safety training.

17. Kick-off safety classes (rotate among senior leadership team)

18. Know the facility safety rules; never violate anyone for any reason. Challenge and hold people responsible for anyone who does.

We are looking for more examples of active safety leadership. What can you add to the list from your worksite? Please share, like and comment. We would like to hear from others.

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