Improvements in Safety Start with Leadership

shutterstock_131437046If you already assumed this blog is directed towards supervisors, managers and executives, and has nothing to do with you, you are fortunately mistaken. The main theme of this post is that ANYONE in an organization can be a safety leader IF they choose to be. The misconception that safety leadership refers only to those in top management is far-reaching. Safety leaders at ACT are at every job site, in every department and across all levels of our structural hierarchy. In fact, I am the first to admit I am not the most knowledgeable about the present dangers of a particular job. I have a degree in Industrial Hygiene, I am a CSP, I have been in the industry for 16 years and have been on many jobsites, but it is the safety leaders we employ that have the training, extensive experience and culture that perfect ACT’s safety program. One exemplary leader I have had the pleasure to work with is Victor Rousseu. Victor will celebrate his 10-year anniversary with ACT on September 25, 2016 and has spent the majority of his career at ACT as an offsite project manager. Victor typifies a safety leader because he cares enough to take the actions that will keep himself and his coworkers free from danger or injury through guidance, persuasion, direction and setting the example. At ACT, we look forward to another 10 years with Victor! So what else do our safety leaders do? You might be surprised that some of the behaviors exhibited by these leaders are not conscious – they are simply ingrained habits of how they act at home, at work and at play:
  • Being an example by knowing and following the rules
  • Avoiding complacency about the dangers of the job
  • Reporting safety hazards, violations and incidents
  • Maintaining open communication about safety concerns
  • Implementing change to improve safety and working conditions
  • Encouraging co-workers to exhibit safe behaviors
  • Showing coworkers small tokens of appreciation for a safe job well done
  • Making coworkers aware that unsafe behavior is unacceptable
  • Being involved in safety initiatives and committees
A critical part of ACT’s success rests on the behavior and qualities of the leaders we employ. This responsibility may appear burdensome to some, but our safety leaders are just more cognizant of their environment. Throughout the day, they are more likely to take the correct actions, based on training and experience, to be as safe as possible. To those safety leaders at ACT, I salute you. - Krista Wood Harsono, Director of Compliance
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