We often make purchases based on the vendor’s reputation. A reputation that’s often spread by word of mouth. Safety works in the same way. Front-line employees often buy safety from their supervisor based on the supervisor’s personal “safety” reputation. Here are three fundamental principles to follow to build the foundation for a strong personal safety reputation:
Set the example. If the PPE assessment calls for foot protection, swap out those Timberland's for a pair of steel toed shoes. Every employee knows what is important to their immediate supervisor (or the supervisor’s boss) by the example they set.
Never walk past a hazard without taking action. Even for minor hazards, either eliminate it or reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Be prompt with any follow that is needed which brings us to number three.
React with a sense of urgency when hazards or concerns are reported. Nothing says you don’t care like putting off a response to a reported safety concern. Take interim action if the problem can’t be corrected immediately.
Nothing torpedoes your safety reputation like violating one of these principles. A poor personal safety reputation will sink any safety initiative. So, what’s your personal safety reputation? It’s a question worth asking.