How you approach your health and safety management system depends a lot on your philosophy of safety management. I have realized that over the last 20 years, my philosophy has changed; I would say for the better.
To start off this podcast, I wanted to give you some insight into my beliefs of safety management. This will be a good primer for future episodes so that you can have an understanding of where I come from. As well as where I have been in my thinking about safety.
I have found, in my training of new safety managers, that they are on this same journey. People who are new in their careers usually focus on the technical side of safety, while those that are more seasoned, realize that the personal side is more important.
I don’t see Gray in Health and Safety Management
For me, safety is black and white. You are either doing it or you’re not. There is no “kinda” doing it safely. That gray area is where accidents happen.
I understand that there is a compromise between operations and safety, but at no time should that compromise put an employee at risk. For example there may be a different view of how to meet a safety regulation; usually, this is a difference in cost and ease of implementation. Like using computerized access to forklifts compared to a keyed system. One is more effective at reducing unauthorized access, but both can be effective at keeping people safe (unless, of course, the administration of keys isn’t happening – that’s a whole other story).
The style of leadership I have settled on is transformational.
You are not a Leader until you create a Leader who has created a Leader.
This style of leadership is not aimed at telling people what to do and micromanaging them. It is about empowering employees, encouraging them to grow, and inspiring them to do their work well. In my opinion, this is the most effective method of safety management and mirrors a lot of what behavior-based safety is about.
Safety is an integral part of the organization
I know I am biased, but I believe that safety is one of the most important parts of any company. It is equal to sales, operations, HR, quality, etc… It is the one department that can have an impact on all the others.
When you focus on safety…
- Your quality improves
- Making it easier to sell your product
- Your efficiency improves
- Increasing production
- Your employees are happier
- Reducing turnover & increasing production (again)
- Making HR’s job easier
No other department has this same impact.
Now it’s Your Turn
You may or may not agree with my safety philosophy. That is OK. I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Scroll on down and leave a comment. While you’re at it – rate this episode.
Highlights From This Episode:
- How my views on safety evolved over 20 years
- Transformational Leadership Style
- Where the role of Safety fits in the organizational chart
- The role & responsibilities of the Safety Manager
- Who enforces safety
- Tips to help you get the job done
Hi, I'm Brye (rhymes with sky)! I am a self-proclaimed safety geek with two decades of general industry safety experience. Specializing in bringing safety programs to a world-class level and building a safety culture, I have trained and coached many safety managers, just like you, on how to effectively manage workplace safety in the real world. I would love to help you too.