I am continuously asked, "What should a leader do to demonstrate a commitment to safety?" "What does it take to have a safety culture?" Well, here you go --- Nine Statements of Leadership Commitment to Safety. They are not listed to 'cherry pick' which ones a leader should demonstrate and which ones can be ignored. When a person buys a car, they do not select which components they want. We never hear, "I will take three wheels; the car will not perform as well, but three is adequate." It is critical that a safety leader demonstrates ALL of the actions listed below. Otherwise, the safety culture will be as effective as a three wheel car.
How do you fare in taking the "Nine Leadership Oaths to Safety?"
- I mention health and safety whenever I can and to a wide range of audiences.
- I begin each meeting with a safety tip and early in the agenda, Safety is part of every management meeting. I want to hear the bad news as well as the good news.
- I ensure that Safety is a mandatory element of performance reviews. Employees are encouraged to participate and to be proactively involved in health and safety.
- I encourage leading indicators, like hazard recognition, that are part of our performance measures. They show how well we are controlling our risk.
- I ensure adequate resources are provided to enable the organization to achieve their objectives
- I set strategic plans beyond one year for Safety Goals and show a commitment to continuous improvement.
- I spend time with the workforce and demonstrate that Safety is a core value - as important as all other business values.
- I discuss Safety issues with my managers, but also with clients, contractors and sub-contractors.
- I hold line management and staff accountable for Safety and do not tolerate blame. I foster a 'fair culture,' and do not tolerate negative attitudes or performance regarding Safety.
The next time someone asks, "What should I do as a leader to demonstrate my commitment to safety?" Provide them the above list. B-Schools, where many C-suite leaders graduate, often do not have 'safety' as part of their curriculum. Yet, a solid safety program impacts the organization by reducing accidents and costs. Insurance can bury an organization and send them to bankruptcy.
Let us know what you think. Do you have additional examples of leadership commitment to safety? Let us know and comment on the article or you can contact us privately. Let us help you take your safety program to the next level. Contact us today.