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How do safety leaders and managers create a culture of safety? Knowing that safety is important is clearly not enough. Slogans like "Safety First" or "Target Zero" may be powerful and eloquent, but they typically don’t produce the buy-in that is necessary.
The only way to change a culture is to get an extremely high level of repeatable buy-in. That means the message from leadership has to be very clear and simple to implement. It also means you have to be realistic about what’s working.
Have you noticed that the job site with the best safety record is the one where the boss makes everyone feel valuable, the people seem to trust one another and everyone gets along well? While there may be a few exceptions, most research confirms that people make fewer mistakes when they feel valuable. They are more loyal and watch out for each other. They are consistently willing to do more of what they are asked to do. All of this results in dramatically fewer incidents and a true culture of safety. But how do you make that happen in your organization or at your location? Here are seven ways to achieve a culture of safety and reduce incidents:
Whether you are a leader who is driving safety forward or just a person on the job trying to be good at what you do without being hurt, influence is required. Are you influential enough to make safety happen around you? Do you have the trust and the relationships in place to help safety concepts and procedures remain effective?
For some, it may be hard to buy into how important it is for people to have a supportive environment to do their job. You may think that people should just do what they are supposed to do and be safe, but in reality the overwhelming success of this approach is kind of like listening to NASCAR on the radio; You personally may not believe it makes any sense, but for some strange reason it’s still happening.
About the Author
Garrison Wynn helps people learn how to make the jump from being great at what they do to understanding and developing the qualities it takes to be chosen for the job. As a keynote speaker, advisor and entertainer, he has worked with some of the world's most effective corporate leaders and salespeople. He has a background in manufacturing, entertainment, telecommunications and financial services. For information on Garrison’s speaking or consulting, visit www.keynote-speaker-motivational.com/safety-speaker.htm.