Safety Leadership for the New Year

Man in suit with superman cape

While thinking about resolutions for the new year, I came across a great article in Safety+Health Magazine by Steven Luttrull about being an intentional safety leader. One great resolution to consider is becoming a safety leader for your organization by developing skills to actively drive safety initiatives and programs.  Leadership is a critical element for any organization’s safety success.  The following expands upon some of Luttrull's points and may provide some useful insight on what to look for in developing your safety leadership skills.

Self-Awareness: Step back and take a look at your personal behaviors and attitudes towards safety.  Do you 'walk the walk and talk the talk' by presenting a positive example for employees with regards to safety attitudes and behaviors in the workplace?  What do you find are your strengths in communicating and driving workplace safety? Where can you use additional support or assistance in helping to promote safety at your organization?

Personal Safety Vision: Where do you see safety as a priority in your organization?  Is it where your personal safety vision would place it or is there a gap?  Identifying where safety currently is and where it should be can help provide you direction in focusing your efforts.

Plan your Safety Communication Strategy:  How do you plan to go about communicating your safety vision and its impact on the workplace?  Establishing a structure and organization to your communication plan will help keep it on track and ensure the message is absorbed and engaged by your organization.  For example, Luttrull explains that a system of consistent 'safety stand-downs' along regular assessments of the effectiveness of the plan elements can ensure your safety vision is being achieved.

Systemic Feedback: Where are there opportunities to provide feedback to management and employees with regards to their safety performance?  Integrating this feedback into everyday conversation can help to address deficiencies or maintain the achieved improvements in yours and the organization's safety leadership and performance.

Anyone can be a safety leader; no titles or certifications are required.  Leadership is defined as “motivating a group of people to accomplish a common goal.”  If your goal is to ensure all your coworkers experience a safe day at work, every day, then start discovering your leadership skills. 

Utilize the start of 2019 as an opportunity to revisit, refocus, and realign your safety leadership vision and efforts with that of your organization's needs.  For more inspiration on the topic check out the previous Safety Net posts The New Year’s Resolution We Should All Make, Make 2018 a Safe Year, Safety Leadership: Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk, and Leadership is a Choice

By Michael Havel