Do you have what it takes to become an Excellent Safety Practitioner?
The success of implementing a Safety Program in your organization rests squarely on the Safety Managers. These are the people who are responsible for ensuring that what’s in the training manuals and paper gets translated into real action at the workplace.
So, how do you choose the right safety, manager? Or do you have what it takes to become a safety leader?
Here, in this article, we give you a list of the key traits that are present in successful safety managers. We also provide you with tips on how to cultivate these habits, so that your safety programs are a huge success.
- Visible Behavior – Teach by Action
As a safety leader, you should lead by example. You must ensure that you set a good example for employees to follow. A safety manager must practice and adhere to all the safety and health protocols, even when he isn’t observed. If your employees see you cutting corners or taking unnecessary risks, then you can be sure that they’ll do the same thing.
A good safety leader is alert at all times and sets the right example for other workers.
- Encourages Participation from Employees
An effective safety manager listens and often asks suggestions from employees to deal with a particular issue. As a safety leader, make sure that you don’t immediately write off the suggestions from employees, even if it isn’t based on industry standards. This is because sometimes, employees who actually do the job may have better insight or come up with creative ways to deal with a problem.
Make sure that you listen to all feedback from employees, irrespective of whether it’s constructive or mundane. This is because most people tend to get frustrated when they feel that their voice isn’t heard.
As a safety manager, it’s essential that you hone your listening skills.
- Rewards Participation
Nothing works magic like an acknowledgment. If you see a particular employee following all the health and safety protocols, make sure that you spend some time appreciating the employee. Do it in front of his team members either during safety meetings or right on the work floor.
If employees feel that their contribution goes unnoticed, it not only curbs their enthusiasm, but it can even lead to cynicism. When you appreciate an employee, it motivates others to follow safety protocols. Additionally, you can reward safe workers with an annual incentive, an award or some other gesture.
- Responds Promptly
An effective safety leader is quick to spot safety issues and other complaints as and when they arise. If an employee doesn’t follow the safety protocols, an alert safety manager will instruct the employee assertively, before an accident occurs.
Lack of timely intervention can breed a lethargic attitude to safety.
- Takes a Proactive Approach
As a safety manager responding to an incident as soon as it occurs, isn’t all that you should do. Instead, you should employ proactive methods, to reduce the chances of an accident happening in the first place. This is possible only when you are aware of the potential risks, continuously monitor employee behaviors and make regular updates to safety policies as and when required.
All your safety measures come Null if your workers aren’t involved.
So, make sure that you carry out regular formal and informal meetings with all employees, to make them aware of proposed changes to safety policies.
- Strong Communication Skills
This is one of the prime traits that is a MUST for all safety managers. As a safety officer, it’s your prime duty to communicate safety procedures to everyone involved in the organization effectively. This includes top-level CEOs to factory floor production workers.
A good safety manager is a person who speaks the language of the person with whom he’s conversing.
Let’s illustrate this with an example. Using technical terms and other complicated safety jargon may work with white-collar employees. But, if you want all your blue-collar workers to become serious about safety, then it’s essential that you cut out the jargons. Instead, you must be able to communicate the safety protocols using simple layman terms.
This is where your core communication skills come to the test. If you want to be a good safety manager, then it’s vital that you start working on your communication skills.
- Earns the Respect of Employees
As a safety manager, it’s highly crucial that you earn the respect of the employees, whom you’re monitoring. Violating safety rules, or twisting the facts are some easy ways to make employees lose their respect for you.
If you aren’t able to answer a particular question, come clean and admit that you don’t know the answer. Making up something isn’t going to work out in your favor in the long run.
A good safety manager is not one who criticizes his employees constantly for their safety violations. Instead, he uses each such situation as a teaching moment and helps employees realize the inherent value of implementing safety in the workplace.
- Above all, demonstrates genuine concern for Employees
A safety manager is not just a job title. It’s a vocation.
A good safety manager is always concerned about the welfare of all his team members. He isn’t self-centered and isn’t worried about personal reputation. If he sees a safety violation, he ensures that he takes the right steps to correct irrespective of the person who violated the protocol.
The Last Word
There are plenty of occasions where you’ll feel constant self-doubt. There’s nothing wrong with that. All safety managers undergo this phase. During such situations, motivate yourself by reminding yourself that you play an important role in ensuring the safety and welfare of a large number of employees.
And always have this mantra in mind, “As a Safety Officer, anything that you do (or fail to do) will always have an impact not just on the systems of your organization, but on real people.”
If you need help implementing safety protocols specific to your business, appointing safety managers or doing safety audits, get in touch with our experts at Totalika, the leading safety consultants in India. All you have to do is just give us a call at 0124-266-3021 to schedule your appointment.
Here’s to a safer workplace!