Safety managers are challenged to answer this question more often than most would admit. The standard answer: We are working toward zero injuries and our numbers say we are improving.
Does improvement in numbers then mean we are doing a good job and the employees are obviously beginning to follow all the perfect policies and procedures we have worked so diligently to implement?
If safety programs and policies save people from the threat of injury and death, then why are industry numbers when it comes to electrical safety still so depressing? Even more depressing is that the majority of incidents – when examined by worker classification – are electrically trained professionals who fully understand the consequences of failing to follow safe work practices.
So why are these trained people still ending up as statistics rather than home with their families? Simply put, they are inclined to do it the way they have always done it and are not looking at the procedure with the correct mentality. Their typical excuse? “I’ve done it this way a hundred times and I know what not to do in this situation.”
We CAN do better!
While I don’t intend to minimize the impact and influence of good programs and all the efforts of safety professionals within any organization, we must clearly state that it is not the safety manager’s role to simply keep those fine folks from OSHA or the insurance company happy. It takes a commitment throughout the organization to accept nothing less than safe work practices as a mandate rather than a policy.
At Mitchell & Lindsey, LLC (www.MitchellandLindsey.com), we specialize in programs that offer real solutions rather than simply being in compliance. Until we understand as an industry that compliance is documentation – and safety is personal – we are not likely to improve the numbers. We can help you. Give me a call at (502) 682-8491 to schedule a consultation.