Being called a safety professional isn’t granted to a person simply based on their job title. Job titles are important, but a safety coordinator can be a safety professional while a safety director may simple be a safety ass. Yes, I said it.
Being a safety professional is about how you implement safety and interact with others. Its about continuous self-improvement and improving others. All of this really starts with genuinely caring about other people and yourself. You have to care beyond the physical safety of the worker. Care about that person’s fishing trip and family and mental well-being and favorite football team.
You can’t establish the rapport or relationship without caring and you have to care beyond the workplace. Learn about them, their goals, dreams and desires. Maybe you can help there as well.
It’s amazing how things can turn around on a rough project by simply getting involved at that level. One of my most gratifying moments in my career is when a worker complained about me to a co-worker and was immediately shut down by him. He said, “Dude, this guy really cares, and if you can’t get along with him you’re probably in the wrong place.”
*previously posted on LinkedIn