Why Not You?


3 reasons your safety record is not getting better

Why wouldn’t you have a great safety culture? You spent the money, you took the time to teach, and you had the meetings. You bought high-top shoes and better work gloves. You fixed the catwalk and trained your embedded contractors like they were family – or at least beloved stepchildren.

In a perfect world, risk assessments that verify work is being done correctly and that examine near misses should have an impact on the reduction of record-able incidents. So why is it not working for you?

Three factors may be at play:

1. Bad Relationships – Your employees don’t get along very well with each other and they don’t value each other so they’re not watching each other’s’ backs.

2. Lack of Employee Engagement – Engaged employees are 43 per cent safer on the job. People who do not feel engaged, i.e. valued enough by supervisors and coworkers to feel they have a good job, are emotionally “checked out.” This creates a general lack of awareness which, in turn, causes them to be unsafe.

3. Generational Issues – The human brain is not fully formed until age 26 (which explains a lot). And after age 50, mental and physical reactions slow down (which explains even more). We see the obvious issues, which are compounded when four generations – Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers – are joined in one workforce. They don’t necessarily agree or appreciate each other, and you have a team that’s not always on the same page when it comes to safety.

The reason the human race has survived as a species this long is because we are very good at not becoming extinct! Historically and statistically, our survival can be attributed to the fact that we looked out for each other because we instinctively knew we couldn’t survive on our own. https://www.fs.blog/2017/02/survival-of-the-fittest/

We found that being in a group afforded us more safety than going solo. We were forced – regardless of differences and circumstances – to trust one another. Our survival Instinct was Stronger than our people problems. Although we fought and disagreed … we survived, together.

The truth is without good relationships communication suffers; without engaged employees, awareness is lost; and, without generations supporting each other, information isn’t passed down. In the long-term, the culture doesn’t improve and may, in fact, deteriorate.

More and more organizations have realized these components are missing within their safety culture. They’ve learned that protocol and processes can’t bolster safety unless managers and employees like each other, value each other and get along with great consistency.

Why not you? Why wouldn’t you start improving your culture with better relationships and engagement? If you cannot answer that question, you’re on the right track!

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