When creating a safety culture, our efforts are often focused on the people on the shop floor, those individuals that interact daily with obvious hazards such as electric shock and oil slicks. What many people don’t realize is that one of the most effective ways to implement a strong safety culture is to start with senior management.
Often times, when it comes to safety programs the difference between success and failure is linked to the level of senior management team involvement. When general managers, owners or CEOs are involved, the safety culture takes on a higher level of importance and the success rate rises. To stay engaged with safety culture as a manager, consider the following:
Attending safety committee meetings.
The mere presence of executive leadership at safety meetings sends a clear message that safety is a top priority. Not only should you attend the meetings, you should also take an active role in the meetings and engage in the conversation. If you’re unable to attend the meeting, review the notes.
Correlate safety and profitability in discussion.
Realistically, safety improves the bottom line. This is because it reduces the risk of fines and workers’ compensation rate hikes. When you discuss the relationship between safety and revenue in your meetings, safety will get significantly larger amounts of attention.
Lead by example.
When it comes to safety you should be following the same protocol as all of your employees. This means that senior management should be attending safety trainings and should follow all of the same procedures as everyone else. Stay involved inspections, following up on them, and demonstrating the value of a strong safety culture daily.