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The Personal Side of Safety

One of the textbook definitions of ‘safety’ is the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury or loss. There is a big misconception in the industry that the function of a safety team is simply to create rules and regulations. At Faith Technologies, creating and enforcing safety policies is certainly a part of our overall safety program. However, there is an even more important personal side that includes building relationships that will help guide us to our safety goal of zero unsafe behaviors, not just zero injuries.

This personal approach isn’t a checklist of things to do. It’s about expanding relationships with the people you work with and around, as well as relationships with your safety team. It can be demonstrated in a number of ways:

  • Build Relationships: Continuously improve the quality of relationships between yourself and those around you, and between various groups or other trades.
  • Listen: Listen more and try to understand the perceptions of others, learning how their perceptions drive their actions.
  • Speak Up: Speak often to people not only about their safety, but also their overall well-being; talk about what safety means to you personally.
  • Show Appreciation: Express your personal appreciation and regard for people’s actions, especially in their safety efforts and their care for others.
  • Be Present: Demonstrate your personal commitment to safety in real, visible ways. Be present onsite and ‘walk the talk.’
  • Create Goals: Set goals and turn results into milestones, then make it clear how those will result in overall success.
  • Be Accountable: Hold yourself and others accountable for following through with commitments, and demonstrate that you mean them.

While these actions will help continue to raise the bar on your safety efforts, it will take the entire team to create overall success. It is not just leadership, the safety team or policies that result in safety success. It is the complete buy-in from every team member in making safety and zero unsafe behaviors a personal goal as well as a team goal.