I’m not saying we need to chase down the VP of construction and instruct him or her on ladder safety. What I am saying is that we do need to manage our managers and provide them information they may not have.
Let’s talk about safety culture. Many of us try to establish the culture and the executives desire a positive safety culture, but sometimes end up being an obstacle. “Those evil executives! They’re cutting my legs out from under me!” Well, maybe not. Maybe we have failed them and therefore cutting out our own legs.
Case in point, incident reporting. Every good safety professional tries to encourage the worker to report all incidents and in a timely manner. We even drool like a kid at Christmas when we get near misses reported. What happens when incident reporting increases?
I’ll tell you what happens (not always), but execs lose their minds. “I hired you to reduce incidents not increase them! Why are we having so many near misses? I want names!”
That is what I call obstacles to reporting. It’s also obstacles to a great safety culture. Are we, as safety professionals, failing to train the execs on the consequences of their reactions? Failing to manage them, manage expectations and perhaps are afraid of their position?
*previously posted on LinkedIn