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EHSQ Online Discussions Update: How to get Business Leaders to 'Mind their own Business' and Lead with Safety

Tamara Parris

We had a great February member discussion with our guest experts Dame Judith Hackitt and Professor Andrew Sharman.

Hackitt and Sharman provided many great insights to help leaders with encouraging their workers and line managers to value safety in our working culture. They shared with us recommendations to help operational leaders easily and effectively integrate safety into their daily work.

During the discussion they spoke about several ways to share safety success updates, such as discussing the activities you are engaging in that are creating a safe workplace. They reinforced how important it is to engage other leaders in the dialogue, by using questions to lead them into the discussion from their business perspectives.

They reminded us that real change will comes from putting workers at the center of our work. To pull back from using non-interactive methods such as safety posters that dictate to workers it is their responsibility to own safety. Instead, first reach out and start the conversation. Ask workers what they believe needs to be done to improve safety.

Dame Judith Hackitt shared a few example questions to help get ideas started such as: "If I were working with you right now, what would I need to know to be safe?", "What did we do that kept everyone safe today?".

Sharman shared that workers will be willing to commit to being safety when they see their leaders taking action to ensuring safety is a real business value. This is what will help motivate them to start thinking of safety first.

Hackitt shares that it truly steams from being authentic and engaging our workers in a manner that is inspirational.

They concluded our session sharing that it is about how safety contributes to the success of the business, the department, the team, and the individual.

They shared these four final points:
- Excellent safety performance depends on constant active engagement at all levels
- Leaders’ visibility and genuine interest in safety drives cultural maturity
- Great safety culture is built on top tier involvement and focus
- Safety improvement must be a daily activity for everyone

It was a great member discussion! We invite you to view the recording of the session by follow the link below:

March 04, 2018 @ 02:06 PM EST Health & Safety

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Scott Gaddis's picture
Scott Gaddis

This is an interesting post and maybe one of the more important elements within our safety leadership toolbox. I've been in leadership roles, and at times, within organizations that had differing ideas than mine in how leaders value safety. Without a doubt, my own trailing indicators proved over and over again that when senior leaders make it out of their offices and get to where the work actually happens, it better influences organizational culture. Safety walk-rounds and engagement activities such as quarterly letters, starting every meeting with safety regardless of the topic, leading the safety and health committee and a myriad of other quite simple demonstrations of safety value build relationships; Trust is increased and partnerships are formed, information is freely shared, concerns are reported and the demonstration that "we" are part of our safety process is evident.

March 09, 2018 @ 10:04 AM EST
Tamara Parris's picture
Tamara Parris

thank you Scott for sharing these great insights!

March 13, 2018 @ 03:28 PM EDT