THE SECRET TO BUILDING A WINNING SAFETY CULTURE

Walk the Talk
The VPPPA Leader Magazine, Fall 2014

Put your passion for safety into practice with visible commitment. The secret to building a winning culture begins with you! When individuals model a passion and conviction to achieve zero, organizations excel in safety. No matter where you fit in an organizational chart, you influence those around you. Your positive influence translates to a winning culture. Leaders have to make their commitment visible. A personal dedication to safety does not exist if one does not display the commitment with visible, consistent action. Your actions are a reflection of what you believe about safety. I want to offer three techniques organizations can institute to visibly exhibit commitment and build your safety culture. Your commitment will not exist without consistent and visible reinforcement of each technique.

Safety Management Technique – Project Planning
A true injury-free culture applies visible management commitment through consistent methods of execution. Preparation enables the work group to adjust to the unexpected and react with precision. You have to know how you will train workers, analyze work, adapt to changing conditions, and control risks in all phases of the work. Consistent planning will visibly show the workforce the level of commitment that management places on planning for a safe and healthful outcome.

Workers and managers in successful safety cultures develop specific safety and health plans and back up plans that help execute work safely. These plans help mitigate catastrophes. A thorough plan minimizes the pressure to take shortcuts that lead to injuries, and a comprehensive plan sets the safety expectations for the project. A good safety and health plan provides defenses for known hazards. A good plan also anticipates the unknown and answers questions before someone has to ask.
(Reference: Principle to Practice by David G. Lynn, CSP)

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