Safety Leadership Training

Safety Leadership Training

9 Safe Habit Tools


Does your company put people in roles with inadequate preparation to lead safety?  I have witnessed great employees get promotions and I have watched them struggle to lead safety.  They understand the technical nature of the jobs they supervise but they do not know how to manage the work in a safe manner.  They have the desire to prevent injuries but they do not know how to accomplish that goal.    


We have to develop Safety Leadership Training that teaches tactical skills to prevent injuries.  I want managers and supervisors that will approach others, communicate safety, train workers, mentor new employees, preplan work, learn from mistakes, identify hazards, evaluate events, and hold people accountable.  That may sound like a fairy tale BUT it is possible if we deliver Safety Leadership Training that cultivates these critical skills.


Safety Leadership Training Content – 9 Safe Habit Tools


  1. Approaching Others – Include a module that highlights the value of hazard recognition and the importance of saying something when you see risk.  You would think this basic skill is natural to people but it is not natural.   We have to develop an Approaching Others mentality with managers and supervisors.
  2. Toolbox Topics – Communicate safety messages on a consistent basis.  Teach people how to deliver a good safety topic and you will raise situational awareness.  To keep a group’s attention, you have to have a good delivery. 
  3. Training and Development – Training does not just happen.  A manager and supervisor have to know when and what training people need.  They have to understand how critical their support and visibility is to the success of the training. And, they have to reinforce what people learn. 
  4. Mentor New Employees – Good leaders are approachable and they coach people in the field.  Teach managers and supervisors on how to mentor new employees.  Explain how they can set up and execute a new hire mentoring program.
  5. Preplan Your Work – Plan your work and work your plan.  The best leaders understand this principle and how it applies to safety.  Teach managers and supervisors to do effective pre-job briefs.  They need to plan their steps, anticipate errors, think about the worst case, and put controls in place.
  6. Post Job Reviews – A good plan is important but events may not always go as planned.  Teach managers and supervisors to learn from mistakes.  Show them how to implement a simple review process at the end of the shift so that they can talk about what went right and what went wrong.  The recap will help the team perform better the next day. 
  7. Audit and Inspect – Every manager and supervisor should know how to audit and inspect their areas of responsibility.  Teach them good hazard recognition skills so that they see what you want them to see.  Give them the tools to implement a documented weekly safety audit plan. 
  8. Event Analysis – Teach managers and supervisors on how to analyze events that have the potential to cause injuries.  Their goal is to learn what tools and techniques failed so that they can make improvements.  The improvements should influence the future in a positive way. 
  9. Hold People Accountable – This is a manager and supervisor’s greatest tool and responsibility.  They need to know the importance of disciplinary action and how to hold people accountable!  Safety Leadership Training should make this point clear.    


How do you build safe habits?


You can cultivate these nine skills with training but how do you make these skills a habit that is ingrained into your daily routines.  Charles Duhigg wrote a book called The Power of Habit.  In his book, he states that “new habits are created; by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward.”  This habit loop creates a natural craving to repeat the activity.  The habit loop has the power to influence safe decisions and it will have a positive impact on our judgment. 


Teach managers and supervisors to apply safe habit tools at the right times.  Develop the expectation to apply these tools whenever leaders encounter certain triggers and cues.  Promote the value and reward of the techniques and apply them with repetition.  This process takes focus in the beginning but after people get used to the routine, these techniques become second nature (aka; safe habit). 


 For example, here are 9 safe habits that improve safety performance;


Tool & Technique Trigger/Cue Routine Reward
Approach Others Anticipated Hazard Minute by Minute Injury Prevention
Tool Box Topics Upcoming Work Weekly Situational Awareness
Train & Develop Starting the Job Before the Need More Knowledge
Mentoring New Hire 1rst 90 Days Better Skills
Pre-Job Brief Before You Start Daily Fewer Mistakes
Post Review (LL) End of the Day Daily Better Plan Tomorrow
Audit & Inspect Starting the Job Daily Fewer Hazards
Event Analysis Event Occurrence As Needed Learn from Mistakes
Disciplinary Action Noncompliance As Needed Accountability



Your goal is to prepare people to lead safety so that they do not struggle to prevent injuries.  Supervisors know the technical nature of their jobs and we have to help them understand how safe habits impact the details of their work.  Build these 9 safe habit tools into their work activities and you will improve their opportunity to succeed.   Safety leadership is all about influence and what better way to influence safe actions!