How Safety Positively Affects Every Department

Safety is one of the most important departments in the company. No other department is as impactful as safety. Safety is the only department that positively affects every other department.

So, let’s dive into a quick view of other departments and the ways in which safety positively affects all the other departments.

A Quick Glance at Other Departments

So, let’s start with sales. Many might argue that the sales department is the most important department because without sales, without money, the company wouldn’t function. And it’s true, without revenue, the company wouldn’t exist.

However, a drastic increase in sales would generate problems for other departments. The human resources department would rush to hire and train more people.

Operations would need to create new processes to accommodate more production. And so on.

The same goes for the other departments. They generate negative impacts on other departments. Unlike, safety which generates both immediate and long-term positive effects on all other departments.

Safety Creates Efficient Changes

Unlike other departments where they are in a bubble of their own, safety needs to consider how every other department interacts with each other and how changes made by each department impact the other ones.

Because of this unique position that safety is in, we create changes that are not only safe but also efficient and beneficial to other departments.

But of course, this needs to be done properly. Proper planning needs to be done as well as proper communication with the management team in order for them to see the value of the changes that you want to create. And then get support to implement these changes.

Safety Generates Savings

Depending on the company that you’re joining, the savings that you can generate can range from thousands to millions of dollars annually. But, regardless of how big it is, the generated savings can be allocated to the budget of other departments which enables them to create more programs that are beneficial to the company.

With an increase in their budget, production can upgrade equipment and tools, marketing can implement more plans, human resources can shell out more benefits, safety can create more programs, and so on. And all of these positively affect the company.

Safety Develops Company Culture

Although not apparent, safety develops a great company culture. A culture that prioritizes the welfare of the employees. A culture that listens and engages everyone. Because of this, employees from every department become loyal and active, thus improving productivity.

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Yes, safety is the most important department because it positively affects all the other departments. But of course, it has to be done right.

How Safety Positively Impacts The Entire Company

Safety Brye: [00:00:00] I've told you before that safety is the only department that positively impacts all the other departments. In order to communicate the value you provide, you need to be able to demonstrate this. So today let's chat about how you positively impact the entire company. Let's get to it.

Hey there, safety friends. Welcome to the Safety Geek Podcast. I'm Brye Sargent CSP and 20 years Safety Professional. After spending years training safety leaders across the globe for a large corporation and creating safety programs from the ground up over and over again. I am now sharing my processes and strategies with you.

At the Safety Geek, you will learn how to manage an effective safety program that increases your management support, and employee engagement, all the

[00:01:00] while helping you elevate your position and move up in your career. If you're ready to step into the role of a safety influencer and leader. You're in the right place.

Let's get to it.

Hello. Hello. Hello, my safety friends. How are you doing today? And Happy Memorial Day. I honestly don't know if this is coming out on Memorial Day or the day after. I think like respectfully, I would want it to come out the day after, but sometimes we do things on set routine. It may actually come out on the day of, but either way, I hope that you had a great Memorial Day.

I kind of see Memorial Day as, yes, what it's supposed to be is like a day of remembrance, but also like a kickoff of the summer, right? Like, part of that is like, awesome. Yay. And then part of that is like, holy crap, half the year's gone already. I only have, you know, seven

[00:02:00] more months. And then we're already at New Year's. It's just time is flying. So hopefully you've got a lot of great summer plans scheduled. I don't know what I'm planning on doing this summer. I was gonna go on a vacation with the family, but then that ended up having to be canceled, so I don't know what we're going to do. It's so weird having children in college and people, like I have one child who's planning on moving out and I have another child who is living in college and we have to like move her out of her dorm and then move her back into her dorm in the middle of the summer.

And then she's starting her first job. And just all of these life things that I know that a lot of my audience has younger children just know it never ends. It never ever ends. Now my kids are in their twenties. My youngest is still teenager, but they're adults. And I mean, it's still constant. Like my phone rings every day with questions and problems and things to solve, and

[00:03:00] all of that. And it's wonderful, but at the same time you're like, oh my gosh, it just never ends. So I don't know what the summer has in store for me, but I do know that on this memorial weekend, I'm thinking like, oh my gosh, it we're already halfway through the year. Alrighty. So I digress. So today what I wanted to talk about was to discuss the impact that you have on the organization.

Because what we do is so much more than just reducing injuries. We are in that unique position where we actually know the entire organization. We have our hands, at least we should have our hands into every part of it. So we are in that position, like your executive team, where we can kind of see how all the little pieces play a part where if you think about like your operations departments, They have their own little world, right? So if you have transportation managers, they're just basically dealing with

[00:04:00] transportation in what they're doing. Manufacturing department managers or project managers, they're dealing within their little project where on a high level, the executive team, so think about your CEO, your CFO, your CTO, all of those, they need to see the big picture of how all the little departments are playing together.

We have to do that same thing. That's why I believe that every organization should have a chief safety officer because we have to see all the little parts and how they're playing together. Because what one department does is going to affect another department. And everything that every department does affects us positively and negatively.

But everything we do can have a positive impact on every single department in the organization. And we are the only ones that can say that because when we have an increase in safety, it affects everybody positively. But other departments, when they have an increase in meeting their goals, it can have a negative effect on other departments. So I wanna break it

[00:05:00] down into like the most common departments that I see in companies and like what their positive results, the effect that they have on all the other departments. So that way you can kind of understand what I'm saying here. So let's start with sales, because you're never gonna have a company without the sales department.

We have to sell our widgets, right? So the sales department is extremely important. Even though we may be like calm down on the sales, we need to get systems and processes in place before we can handle the sales that you're trying to bring to us. But sales actually pays our paychecks, right? Sales are the reason why the company is there, regardless of what you're selling, whether you're selling intellectual property or you're selling a physical item, or you're selling services or construction, or you're mining whatever, we have to sell our products.

So whenever there is an increase in sales, and let's say sales is doing amazing and they've increased their sales and they're just doing great. It's going to have a

[00:06:00] negative impact on operations because maybe operations isn't ready to take on those sales. Operations now has to increase their productivity, and that means an increase of employees.

So HR now has a negative impact because they have to hire more people. And when HR hires more people and operations increases their productivity, that has a negative impact on us because Safety now has got new people, new processes, increased production. What is that equal? More injuries, right? And plus more people to train as well, and more people to monitor and make sure that they're doing everything right.

And then quality, it has a negative impact on quality as well, because if they don't have their systems and processes in place to handle the increase in sales, they may have to hire new people. They may have to be doing more work. They may end up missing some quality issues because they don't have the systems and processes in place. So that's why having a gradual increase in sales is always good for our

[00:07:00] company because it gives all of these systems time to ramp up to what those sales are, or if your company has seasonal sales, that's okay, so I'm probably gonna go off on a tangent. Seasonal sales are these things that companies know about and they really should prepare for them ahead of time.

So this one organization I work for, they actually did supplies for Sturgis. If you know what Sturgis is, it's like a motorcycle convention type of thing. In the west. It's really, really big. And they know about Sturgis every year, and they wait until like the week before Sturgis to hire people to take the influx of sales.

And you're just sitting there going, but you knew this was coming. You know that it takes six weeks to three months to train somebody properly. So why didn't we hire these people months ago? So it becomes this issue with sales, with seasonal sales. So there's the right way and the wrong way to do seasonal sales, and

[00:08:00] unfortunately I see a lot of companies waiting until the last minute to hire up. So that way you don't have the negative impact on HR and safety and quality. So what happens is you get this influx of sales and then we have this negative impact. Now an influx of sales, it actually has a positive impact as well. Granted, you know, more money in the company gives us a solid footing, gives us job security and purchasing,

it has a positive impact on the purchasing department because the more sales, you get better deals because you're buying a larger supply. Every department within the company has positive and negative impacts, and it's just about controlling that and actually being aware of it. So when you make sure the negatives are not too negative, so that way you can take advantage of all the positives that come along with it.

Because like more sales are great, but if we just got $2 million in sales, but because this sale was not right for our company and it ended up in five injuries that cost us $3 million, then those sales are not a good fit for our organization, or it wasn't

[00:09:00] done in the right way. So that's the impact sales has on safety. Now when safety increases, right? So we have an increase in our safety processes, our safety support, our employee engagement. People are actually following the work practices and doing what they're supposed to do that has a positive impact on sales. Believe it or not, safety affects sales. So when we have all those positive, great, amazing things going on, Sales then knows we're gonna have higher quality.

It makes it easier for them to sell a product. Sales can then bring in customers for like tours of the operation. If you're that type of business, they can brag about your site being ISO certified, or VPP certified, or having staff that enjoy working there. People do put that into their buying decisions.

So safety has a positive impact on sales. When safety is done right, it has a positive impact on sales. All right. The next department

[00:10:00] operations and I kind of bundle everything into operations because it really depends upon your organization, what you determine to be operations. Typically, what I see in an operations department is going to be a production, a manufacturing area, a warehousing or distribution area, a transportation, maybe you are like project and service oriented, so you're going out to a project site or a work site that could be operations.

I know I have some oil and gas people, so like going out and doing the work, that would be operations as well. So it's basically the actual work now when that work starts to increase. Right. So we have a lot more work to do, likely because we've got an increase in sales. That is going to impact basically the same areas that I just talked about with sales, because when you have the increase in sales, it creates an increase in production, and when you have an increase in production, you have that negative impact of HR and safety and

[00:11:00] quality. But when operations then says, I want to get more efficient, I wanna change my processes, right? Which is a great thing if they are doing it in conjunction with safety. But if they are not, if they're just like, Hey, we need to increase efficiency and we're gonna put all of these changes in place, whenever operations changes processes, and they don't do it in conjunction with safety, you're gonna have a negative impact on HR because when you change processes the wrong way, you end up getting a lot more employee complaints and employee complaints can lead to labor disputes and union disputes, and having this negative outlook of your company out into the public where people don't wanna work for you.

When you change processes in operations, it can have a negative impact on safety because when there is that shift in change and people are like used to doing it one way, now they have to do it another way. Or you have new equipment or you have, you know, a new product that you're

[00:12:00] making or something like that, it's going to increase injuries during that transition period if it's not done right.

And when I keep saying done right is because in Safety Management Academy, I teach you how to collaborate with employees and managers to make sure that when you do have this change in process, It is done the right way and people are more prepared for it. But unfortunately, most organizations just want it done quickly.

That's me snapping. They want it done like super, super quick without taking the time to do a proper change management. So this is how operations negatively affects safety and plus operations can negatively affect safety if they are just not focusing on safety as well. Quality, when you have a change in process, you're always gonna have a dip in quality while all the kinks work out.

You're gonna have a dip in sales as well, because as they're changing the processes, maybe it takes longer to make the product where we used to make 200 products an hour. Now we only make 180 products an hour until

[00:13:00] we get all the kinks worked out. So even though this process is supposed to increase productivity in the change period, it may decrease it.

And then in finance, because you're gonna have some expenses in this change as well. So that is how operations negatively affects all those other departments. Now safety positively affects operations. Now, some people can say that it negatively affects those operations, but when it's done right, it is a positive effect on operations because safety develops efficient and safe work practices.

So following safety policies and procedures actually makes the work go more efficiently, so you get more done in less time. We increase productivity when it is done correctly. The reason why I say some people might argue that we have a negative impact on operations is that when we ask them to make those changes, that they may resist it and they may say, this is

[00:14:00] costing me time. This is costing me money to work safely. And that's up to you to generate that ROI and to actually show them that it's not costing them. That by not following safety rules, you are actually costing yourself more time. And in our next episode we're gonna talk about ROI. But a great example of this that I'll give you is that when I first started at this one organization, they were using this machinery where they had to reach in and change the dyes of the machinery, and they never locked it out.

And the manufacturer's instructions were to lock it out. They just never did it. And they said, well, it's gonna cost too much time. It takes 15 minutes to shut down the machine and start it back up again. To lock it out, to change the dye so we could just reach in there and change it with the e-stop on.

Now, keep in mind, they already had several amputations. One of them, the manager of the department, actually was missing two fingers from doing this. And I said,

[00:15:00] 15 minutes, huh? You know, and I actually measured it. I took it to stopwatch and I measured each step of the lockout tagout process to actually demonstrate to them.

This is how long it took, and honestly, it took three and a half minutes, and this is the activities that they did in that three and a half minutes. Because the machine, in this case, it wasn't just one person being stopped for three and a half minutes. It was four or five people being stopped for three and a half minutes, and during that time, they restocked their stuff.

So they were just shifted how they did things, and it actually saved them time in the long run. And I had to show that over a long period of time, and then it just made implementing lockout tagout so much easier. Now, I could have said to them, it's the law. You gotta do it. I don't care if you like it, but what result would've that gotten, that would've got them being like, oh, that's Brye, she's a safety police, she's not team player, she's trying to stop us. Right. It then makes everything else I try

[00:16:00] to do harder. But instead I said, look, this is the law and here's the risk that is there. And you've all already seen the negative results of not doing this. So let me show you how to do it correctly and how you and I can work together and actually create a process that works for your department.

And sure enough, it worked. And then every time I went to go implement something else, It was just like, okay, let's measure it. Let's make sure we're doing the right thing. It wasn't about should we do it or shouldn't we do it? It was more about like, let's demonstrate the right way to do it and let's work together, and it just made things easier.

So I digress there again, I'm going off on a tangent. I'm feeling much better, so I'm very talkative. I don't know if you guys noticed my last couple episodes, I was fighting a cold. And I was, and getting over a cold, I think. I think I stopped recording when I was super sick, but like now I'm like, better. It's that whole, it was that first post covid cold, you know, they're

[00:17:00] always really, really bad. All right, so next one is HR. So when HR starts doing their thing, which if you think about what HR does, they deal with labor issues, they deal with benefits, they deal with payroll, they deal with company policies, right?

So when they start doing their thing where they start training people on company policies or they change the benefits or they have a benefits rollout, or they're making changes in payroll or you know, they're changing policies because of labor disputes, that can have a negative impact on some other departments, mainly safety.

I have always seen a correlation between issues in HR and an increase in accidents because they get angry at something HR did. Or any other department, but mainly like, Hey, we don't like that you're doing this, so we're gonna increase our accident, our accident reporting, right? They start claiming a lot more accidents as actual injuries, and then that makes our

[00:18:00] claims rates go up, which then negatively affects finance, which also negatively affects operations because now you have people out of work.

It also has a negative impact on quality cause I've also seen where they have issues with the benefits, then all of a sudden quality starts to dip as well. So a great example of this is I work for an organization where they were giving all their employees like a $500 bonus a month, but they weren't doing it for any reason.

There was nothing attached to it. And this was way, way back in like 2007 when the economy was really starting to tank, maybe 2008, right after it did. And they just kind of said, Look, we have to tighten things up. You know, gas prices were going up and everything, so they took away that bonus. But what they did is they actually increased salaries.

They technically didn't take away the bonus, but they just kind of like melded it in together so that way it was better planned and everything.

[00:19:00] And when people like looked at their paycheck, they might have seen a slight difference, but it really wasn't that much of a difference, but that affected the company's

safety, quality sales, everything for years. So things that HR does, even though it might be for the benefit of the company, or let's say insurance rates increase or they get rid of a benefit, or they, you know, add on a new benefit that they think is too expensive, they take it out on all the other departments.

Now safety actually increases HR because when you have a safe workplace, people are happier. People want to work there, they tend to not quit. So then we're reducing turnover for HR and we're also reducing labor issues for HR because we have that positive relationship with the employees, so that way we can come in and actually smooth things out. When there is changes, it's done right. All right, so the next department is finance, and

[00:20:00] obviously we affect finance by saving costs on claims. We save costs on claims, we save costs on insurance. So that is our positive effect on finance, but finance can have a negative effect on us. Now, if sales is increasing and we have an increase of more money, then yeah, it's a positive impact on us.

But you could still have an increase in sales. But finance going, no, we're still tightening our belt on expenses and they won't let you spend any money to buy the better engineered controls. Finance then has a negative effect on safety. So as finance changes how they are tightening or loosening their belt on money, it's going to affect safety and we always have a positive effect on finance.

As long as you're running a safety program the way that you should. And lastly is quality. And what you have to think about with the quality department is they are very much like us, right? The quality department, they have their own

[00:21:00] policies and procedures, they have their own quality work practices. I guess good manufacturing, but they have their own processes and then they audit, and then they correct, and then they coach people, right, to make the widgets the way that they should be made or to

you know, have a finished product the way that it should be to keep refunds down and complaints down and liability to the public down. So quality is very much like us, but quality's approach is way different than ours. And maybe your quality department is not the same experience I've had in quality over the last 20 years.

But every quality department I've ever worked with, they work in a series of audits. They take a test of the product and then they run labs and tests on it, or they inspect the end result and they do a quality inspection. So they're basically giving it like a pass and a fail. So it's always an audit and it's always a correction, and it's always like looking for the negative, where our focus should always be looking for the positive.

[00:22:00] And that can't work in quality because quality has to find the negative. That's where they go. So when quality starts increasing their audits and increasing their corrections, or changing the specs of the product, it's going to have a negative effect on safety because people will complain, right? So then as people complain, they end up claiming more injuries.

It could change the processes, which could increase injuries. Now safety has a positive effect on quality. Now when we're running a well run safety program. And everything is going the right way. What happens is quality increases because people care about their work. They like working there. They feel comfortable and safe working there.

They're already used to following safety policies. Why wouldn't they follow quality policies? So safety has a positive impact on quality, but quality can have a negative impact on safety. So one of the things I like to do in organizations is to actually partner with quality and try to get them to do more of the same

[00:23:00] stuff that we do, even though it's technically their job to find the negative. So it's nice when you can partner together because then everything you're doing is not just about safety, it's about safety and quality, and it kind of gives you a little bit more oomph, you know, when you're trying to get stuff done. Now, I've constantly said in this episode when safety is done right, when safety is done right.

And the reason why I say that is I've seen safety done wrong. Okay? So I teach my students to set up processes that don't have you coming into the operations like a wrecking ball. Instead, I focus on creating efficient work practices and procedures. I get them to focus on collaborating and building relationships.

And yes, safety does save costs in claims and preventative maintenance. But I also teach that everything in safety should have an ROI, that we have a positive return on that investment. And because we touch

[00:24:00] every part of that business, it's easy for us to see the impact that we make. And just remember like when you do safety right, meaning like you're collaborating, you're building those relationships, and you're working as a team member of that organization.

You're going to be adding to that bottom line, and that's what safety does. We add to that bottom line, and using our return on investment and using our data, we can actually show this is the value that we're providing. We're just like sales. We're a profit center, right? But safety management has to be done right.

I have seen it done wrong. I have seen where safety has cost, the company time. It has cost them money. It's cost them efficiency. And I'll tell you, if you're running a company that doesn't have any safety and when you first come in, it's gonna cost you some money, but it's gonna save you some money too.

And that's why I love working with companies from the ground up because you can walk in and they're having millions of dollars in injuries and just by implementing the basics,

[00:25:00] you can get that down. You know, and you could say, boom, yeah, it costs you $1 million to implement all of these safety processes and engineered controls, but I saved you 3 million.

So technically I just put 2 million on your bottom line. So it has to be done right. And you have to understand that your job is done best when you are collaborating with all the departments and not fighting against them, and actually having that attitude of I am here to help. I'm here as that guide on the side, like I know like you're supposed to have a lockout tagout program and what you're doing is against the law.

So let's you and I work together and figure out a way that we can get this to work for your unique situation and your unique business. So there you have it. I hope that you're getting a better impression of your impact on the organization. And I would love for you to look

[00:26:00] at each of your departments and start measuring how your actions are positively affecting or negatively affecting them. And then if you are negatively affecting them, think about how you can change your approach so that there is always a positive return on investment and a positive impact. And then this will get you more buy-in. And support and make your job a heck of a lot easier. Now, next week we'll be talking about return on investments.

So be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that way you don't miss a beat. And while you're doing it, why don't you leave me a review. If you like this stuff, you like my jam here and what I'm talking about, I wanna hear from you. If you can go in to your podcast app and leave me a review. Go ahead and click to stars.

We love the stars too, but I love when I actually see the impact that I'm having on your career and on your life. So I can't wait to hear from you.

[00:27:00] I hope you have an amazing week. Hopefully it's a short week for you, and I will chat with you next week. Bye for now.

Hey, if you're just getting started in safety or you've been at this for a while and are hitting a roadblock. Then I wanna invite you to check out Safety Management Academy. This is my in-depth online course that not only teaches you the processes and strategies of an effective safety management program, but how to entwine management support and employee participation throughout your processes.

Are you ready to finally understand exactly what you should be doing and ditch that safety police hat forever? Then you have got to join me and your fellow safety scholars over at Safety Management Academy. Just go to to learn more and to get started. That's

[00:28:00] and I will see you in our next Students only live session.

Bye for now.

Highlights From This Episode:

  • Safety Is The Only Department That Has A Positive Impact On All The Other Departments
  • What Are The Positive Impacts Of Safety On Other Departments
  • How To Properly Communicate The True Value Of Safety
  • What Effective Approach To Do On Getting Management Support

Links Mentioned:


Start evaluating how your actions positively and negatively influence each of your departments. Or how can you improve your strategy such that there is consistently a return on investment and a positive impact?

Gaining support and buy-in will be considerably simpler as a result.

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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.

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