What is a Safety Leader?

June 20, 2019

The role of safety managers and supervisors is to create an environment for employees to engage in safety and move toward safer behaviors. What does this look like?

  • Implementing safety management systems
  • Ensuring employee safety training
  • Resolving safety challenges before injuries occur
  • Responding to incidents
  • Creating a culture of safety and motivating employee engagement

What is a Safety Leader?

The last one can be easier said than done. How do you create a safety culture and engage every employee in it? You should:

  • Empower employees to report hazards and share innovative ideas;
  • Involve them in creating a safety mission statement;
  • Hold regular safety meetings and provide data on your organization’s vulnerable areas;
  • Recognize safety achievement; and
  • Avoid seeking fault or blame for an incident.

What is a Safety Leader?

While safety training is critical, if it’s accompanied by a strong safety culture and positive interactions with workers, it’s more likely to change behavior and decrease incident rates.

The most successful safety managers aren’t overly authoritarian. They’re accessible, they set an example, they’re open to change, and they get feedback from employees.

Safety managers aren’t the only employees responsible for safety, though. Every member of an organization should be a safety leader, regardless of title.

About the Author

Keith Robinson

Keith D. Robinson, CHMM, CSP, is CEC's Vice President of Safety and works out of our Columbus office. He is a Certified Safety Professional and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager. He was recognized for safety leadership by the American Society of Safety Engineers' National Board of Directors in 2006 and was recipient of the American Society of Safety Engineers' Triad Chapter's Safety Professional of the Year in 2006 and 2007.

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