Traits of a good safety leader

Traits of a good safety leader

To present the staff with a clear message of ‘behaviour-based’ leadership becomes integral in health and safety – as it is an integral part of industrial work that must be taken seriously and put to work.

This involves setting up people for success, duly selling up the benefits of health and safety, and exhibiting keen interest in protecting employees from any harm.

Major impacts of excellent safety leadership on staff can be viewed as increasing awareness, motivating employees to reach and maintain high standards, and reducing incidents. We, as health and safety doyens, with our safety expertise and assets, can assist you on achieving safety leaders that just fit in to your long-term organizational safety goals.

Leveraging the Domino Effect

One of the benefits of encouraging employees to form desirable habits is to create positive spillover – People like to be consistent, adopting a sustainable behavior can opt them to make other positive changes in future. Even at home, consumers begin with a single step – such as reducing household food waste, and then they often move on to act in other domains, such as energy conservation.

A safety leader plays an important role in shaping the work environment – below are some of the traits that are vital in EHS.

  1. From siloed efforts to interdisciplinary collaboration

    Having business and operational people work side by side ensure that initiatives address broad organizational priorities, not just isolated business issues. Because it takes a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm to motivate others when we talk about health and safety.

    A safety leader’s lackadaisical efforts to make health and safety policies and procedures a priority leads to a perception that EHS is mind-numbingly dull and deserves no active interest – which can prove detrimental to an organizational goals.

    A good safety leader can breathe in life to safety issues, helping their coworkers to view situations that are relevant and personal. Their ability to use their energy and enthusiasm to benefit their workplace can create and productive coworkers.

  2. From experience-based, leader-driven decision making to data-driven decisions at the front-line

    Health and safety leaders tend to augment their own judgement and intuitions to arrive at better conclusions for workplace health and safety issues. This traditional top-down approach can be supplemented with safety software that give emphasis on statistics and help avoid near-misses and incidents to a great extent. When safety leaders trust on software suggestions, they feel empowered to make decisions with a more rational approach in mind – it becomes easier for them to spell out health and safety objectives more clearly.

    This becomes necessary because a general ‘you can do all better’ attitude without clear directions and little help will only breed resentment. Comprehensive plans ensure that staff receive the resources they need, whether be the safety equipment, or protective clothing or trainings – and all can be implemented in a methodical manner.

  3. From rigid and risk-averse to experimental, agile and adaptable

    Any safety idea and its presentation need not be fully baked before it is discussed – being open to inputs and feedbacks invite more opinions and as a result, help reduce the risk of failure. Yes, fundamental shifts do not come easily but striding around a construction site and giving orders do not make a good safety leader.

    Instead of just preaching perfection to their teams, he/she should remain committed to best practices, remain experimental and adaptable to the coworker needs.

    If risk-taking approaches require pressurizing the management to extend their spending capabilities, a safety leader must not hesitate since health and safety requires a prominent place in the annual budget.

    The natural results will be enhanced corporate performances, and satisfied stakeholders including customers, employees, stockholders, suppliers and the community in general. This develops a quality culture that can sustain the improvement efforts over time – because improvement never goes out of style.

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