In our meetings Safety was one of the first items covered and was repeated as part of every one of the messages committed to that day. We wanted to drive home the point that while safety was everyone’s responsibility, not the least of which was the Management team, it was each and every individual who had the most responsibility for their own and their teammates safety.
The Divisions Leadership team was accountable for everyone’s safety. Including providing for a safe work environment, proper safety equipment and training, as well as providing the strategy for everyone’s safety. However, it was absolutely imperative that each teammate understood and accepted that they themselves were the one most responsible and would be held accountable for their safety performance. This would include termination for a failure to do so. Why you might ask? Because no one is with the individual every second of every minute, of everyday, the way they themselves are. No one could be! So, the ultimate responsibility rests with the individual.
In addition, safety made sense for everyone in the plant, top to bottom. Why? Because it was the right thing whether you looked at it from the personal, moral/ethical, or business standpoint. No one argued with it being the right thing for them personally because who wants to get hurt. Or God forbid worse. It also was the right thing to do from a moral and ethical point of view. And finally, it was the right thing from the business and profit point of view. After all it makes no sense to take all the time and costs we do to hire the Right people; to train them and to have them gain all that valuable experience only to squander all that value by having them get hurt and then having to start all over again with someone new or to lose their support while off hurt.
So, they had no problem giving a resounding commitment to Safety and working safely together. It made sense no matter how they and we looked at it!
It was emphasized that there would be accountability for unsafe work practices. Up to and including termination. I would always point out that I would rather send them home unemployed than them or someone else in a pine box.
The results were and are quite impressive because they did and do it Together!
Does safety make sense to you? Both on the job or off? At play or at work? While driving or riding a bike?
How can you be safer each and every day? Never forget that it’s YOU that has the most responsibility to and the most to gain by living safely, or not.