Highlighter Summer 2015

Summer 2015 | 15 When we think about Safety, what comes to mind? Safety officer qualifications, somebody was injured, OSHA inspections, and a plethoraofadministrativeresponsibilities and reactions, which represent a portion of the business of safety. During a recent conversation, someone said to me, “…but we have not had an employee injury in many years…so we must be a safe company.” My initial response was, “if a driver has never had a vehicle accident, are they a safe driver?” It seems that many organizational Health and Safety programs are developed and implemented as routine business practices in response to regulation, citation/penalty, client directives, and employee injuries. However, savvy business executives understand the long term benefits of a robust health and safety program and mature safety culture. Did you know that more than 80 fatalities and 28,000 lost time injuries occur in the workplace each week? It has been estimated that employers in the United States pay almost $1 billion per week for direct and indirect cost to include workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, legal services, replacement employee training, accident investigation, implementation of corrective measures, lost productivity, repairs of damaged equipment, and much more. The Bradley Safety Model was developed several years ago by DuPont to help others to better understand what a safety culture life cycle represents: Reactive Stage People do not take responsibility. They believe that safety is more a matter of luck than management, and that “accidents will happen.” And over time, they do. Dependent Stage People see safety as a matter of following rules that someone else makes. Accident rates decrease and management believes that safety could be managed “if only people would follow the rules.” Independent Stage Individuals take responsibility for themselves. People believe that safety is personal, and that they can make a difference with their own actions. This reduces accidents further. Interdependent Stage Teams of employees feel ownership for safety, and take responsibility for themselves and others. People do not accept low standards and risk-taking. They actively converse with others to understand their point of view. They believe true improvement can only be achieved as a group, and that zero injuries is an attainable goal. When an organization begins to combine the business of safety with safety leadership, focusing on proactive safety actions and personal accountability, the return on investment can and will have a significant positive impact on our entire organization. What doyouneed todobecomeasafety leader and support the development of a sustainable interdependent safety culture at Pond? First, believe that we are serving a purpose much larger than ourselves, and commit to change and growth. Maintain a positive can-do attitude and focus on proactive safety actions. Develop sincere relationships with each other and act with a sense of urgency to complete tasks. Communicate clearly, make it meaningful and be authentic. Look for opportunities to expand our safety network and engage others as safety leaders. I believe that all workplace injuries are preventable if we strive to protect ourselves and those we work with, recognize changing site conditions, and avoid complacency and distraction. If we do these things as part of a personal commitment to achieving safety excellence, I am confident that you will make a positive difference in the lives of others. This is what I think about when I think of safety. n -Jim Davis Corporate Health & Safety Director on Health & Safety A Leadership Perspective