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A Different Approach to Safety

By: Safety Ray

#KeeleySafe collage

During my 37 years working in Safety, I have seen many different approaches to comprehensive Safety Programs. While these approaches have been effective in many ways, none of them have fully succeeded in attaining and sustaining ZERO unsafe acts. Why?

Safety Programs do not drive to ZERO, Safety Cultures do. To reach ZERO, you need both an effective Safety Program AND a strong Safety Culture. The three steps to create a Safety Culture are:

Communicate the Goal

Articulate what you are trying to accomplish with your safety efforts, to establish a Safety Culture, not simply a Safety Program. The only important outcome is getting your teams home to their families, every day. Does every member of your team embody this goal?

Drive Commitment

How committed are you to sending your teams home safe? More importantly, how committed are your people? Make safety personal. Every member of your organization needs to feel empowered to be safe and to spread safety to any team member, regardless of title. This means no short-cuts at any level of your organization. Identify any short-cuts being taken, and ask yourself: Are those short-cuts worth risking lives?

Continue to Evolve

Always look to enhance your Safety Culture. Never simply maintain the status quo. The actions of yesterday may not be effective tomorrow. Where did you make new investments to evolve your Safety efforts this year?

Being safe is the end result of many processes, protocols, and checks & balances – your Safety Program. Equally important and often overlooked is the universal belief that the system will work – your Safety Culture.

Do you have what it takes to build a Safety Culture and achieve ZERO?

After you thoroughly communicate the goal, empower your teams to fully commit to safety, and continue to evolve your Safety Culture. You will see that ZERO is not only attainable, but sustainable.

Have thoughts to share about Safety Culture? You can reach me at:

Make the commitment today to get your teams home safe!

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