The role of a safety professional is difficult. The requirement to handle a tremendous amount of bureaucracy while implementing programs that reduce the risk of injury to their employees, largely without the budget that they deserve is not a job for the faint of heart.
Nevertheless, they continue to push forward and seek new, more efficient ways to make their company better. In the numerous discussions we’ve had with global companies, we’ve identified the 4 critical activities that build not just a good safety program, but one that will get you noticed by customers, executives, and shareholders; a safety program that’s considered World Class.
1. Get Inspired and Be Inspiring – A world class safety program is not possible without the right person at the helm. It requires a forward thinking, modern safety leader who is inspired to use innovative methods and best practices to continually improve the program. That thirst for knowledge will make companies stand out amongst their competitors, but to build a world class safety program, that same leader must be able to inspire the rest of his/her company to act differently, to understand that their actions have risk and to be proud to make improvements that can positively affect the company’s bottom line.
2. Simplicity – Lack of understanding causes anxiety and anxiety results in a failure to act. If a safety leader wants their employees to buy-in to their vision, they need to make it simple for them to do so. The old K.I.S.S. acronym (Keep It Simple Stupid) will never lose its appeal. If your workers are unaware of their roles and responsibilities, cannot communicate the organization’s safety values or understand the goals of the safety program, then no matter how advanced your safety program is, the organization will be unable to reap the benefits and prove that safety does have a positive ROI.
3. Be Engaging and Empower Employees – In order for workers to participate in the organization’s safety program, they need to remain motivated and empowered by those around them. By creating an environment where safe behaviors are identified, celebrated and, ultimately rewarded, you’ll be able to remove unsafe behaviors while simultaneously being acknowledged by executives for creating a positive safety culture.
4. Obsession with Analytics and Metrics that Pave the Way for Continuous Improvement – Often overlooked, the importance of obtaining accurate and real-time analytics on how your safety program is performing can mean the difference between average results and becoming world class. If organizations don’t strictly capture and evaluate data from the field, they’re unable to decipher areas of improvement that they can present to company executives to demonstrate the effectiveness of the safety program.
More often than not, it’s difficult for safety professionals to prove that the work they do and the programs they implement not only impact the safety of their employees but the company’s bottom line as well. By employing these 4 tactics, safety professionals can create a world class safety program which will not only drastically reduce risk of injury and produce a positive safety culture, but one which will also prove to executives and shareholders that a superior safety program can put you ahead of the competition, increase the efficiency of your company overall and ultimately, improve the bottom line.