For safety to be effective within an organization, there needs to be commitment from various people. We all hear about safety needing to be driven from the top down. This is imperative to the success of any safety culture, but others need to be involved and make a commitment as well.
The safety manager often finds frustration with all levels of management commitment, but fails to make the commitment himself. If a culture is to be born and behaviors are to be changed, the safety manager needs to be committed to make this happen. He needs to be dedicated to his program and willing to fight for what he believes in. To not be afraid to push the envelope and possibly upset a few managers along the way. Many people are resistant to change, but there needs to be a constant driving force to affect the desired change or nothing will get accomplished.
In the past, I have often found myself wanting to play the passive aggressive person and not make too many waves when it comes to my policies or programs. Now I have come to the realization that to implement the changes I think my organization needs, I have to be passionate about my cause and be willing to play the “bad guy’ when I need to. I need to do my homework and be willing to intellectually argue my stance and hold to my guns. If I fail, I need to look for another way to present my ideas that will make more sense to those I am trying to sway.
Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of others. Look for other organizations similar to your own where safety has had some success. Enlist the help of their safety people or benchmark from their successes. Look to managers that share your ideals and will be willing to help initiate programs or implement training. These people can be the cornerstone for a solid safety foundation.