The Tools of Safety Leaders

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jan 9, 2019 11:32:45 AM

You have got to set aside time each day for your own tools and skills development.

Let’s start by saying that I have dedicated plenty of space to identifying the “traits of safety leaders” in past Blog posts. And as important as the traits of safety leaders are, the tools they use to develop those traits is even more important.

Good safety leaders are respected. And safety leaders understand the simple premise that “staff don’t work for you, you work for them.” The point of leadership is to help other grow. So when we see inexperienced or even wrong-thinking supervisors flexing their authority muscles at employees, you wonder how long a disliked and disrespected supervisor or safety person is going to last?

Employees want to have a reason to respect the supervisor and the safety person. And, even though that supervisor might now have a lot of experience, employees will respect a supervisor who admits that they are working on it.

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Sending People Home Safe Is Not Most Important

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jun 20, 2018 11:01:00 AM

“Sending people home safe” has become an all too familiar phrase. It has become that thing people say when they used to say "safety first." It's a phrase that rolls off your tongue in an effort to prove that you have a commitment to safety. But there's a problem with it.

Sending people home safely is actually the least you can do. It’s what employees expect you to do. They show up at work expecting to go home safely. But truthfully, anyone simply enforcing rules can get people home safely.

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Do You Respect Employees In Safety?

Posted by Kevin Burns on Aug 2, 2016 6:32:06 PM

People take the advice and guidance of the people they respect.

As a person with a strong commitment to safety, you may have an opinion about senior management’s commitment to safety. A safety person scolding their bosses on social media for a lack of commitment to safety accomplishes nothing. But it does display a lack of respect for co-workers, even if they are your bosses.

Many safety people believe safety cannot improve without senior management’s support and commitment. Unfortunately, that’s simply not true.

The Forest And The Trees

I've been working with a few forestry companies lately so pardon my forest analogy. Senior management is responsible for ensuring the health of the forest. Front-line supervisors and safety personnel are responsible for ensuring the health of each tree. The jobs are very different. At the front-line, if each tree is healthy, the forest is healthy.

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