5 ways to promote effective safety leadership
Effective safety leadership.
According to Hersey and Blanchard, “Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in an effort toward goal achievement in a given situation”.
On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, Safety is the state of being “safe”, the condition of being protected from harm or other danger.
Safety can also refer to the control of hazards to achieve an acceptable level of risk.
However, safety leadership is the combination of Safety and Leadership to promote safe and healthy conditions within the workplace.
Safety leadership is better encouraged from the management level because the management is the driver of safety policies.
Even the legal framework places health and safety duties on employers. The management has collective and individual responsibility for health and safety.
Effective safety leadership is very critical to achieving the organisation’s safety standards. Poor safety leadership can have a catastrophic effect on health and safety.
However, for the management to promote effective safety leadership in their company; Below are the 5 ways they can go about it.
#1.Engage the employees in health and safety programs.
Striving to engage employees in health and safety matters is paramount to promoting effective safety leadership.
Worker participation and engagement have a lot of benefits to the organisation and the worker.
Engaging workers in safety matters will enhance the ownership of the process. Making them have trust and commitment to the process.
There are other ways the employer can have worker engagement. By being part of safety meetings, safety inspections, safety audits, and preparation of job hazard analysis, and seeking employees’ opinions whenever there are critical safety decisions to make.
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#2.Pay attention to significant risk and hazard controls.
Safety risk abounds in our workplace and our activities while on site. It is good to pay attention to these risks and put the control to promote effective safety leadership. Safety risk complaints and reports of workers have to be closed out immediately. Doing this will even build trust among the workers and the management because the management attends to the significant risks and control.
#3.Challenging an unsafe behaviour
Do not tolerate unsafe behaviours from workers. Provide an effective way to deal with Unsafe behaviour in order to promote compliance at all times.
More so, when there is a punishment for unsafe behaviours, people will sit up and engage in safe behaviours at the workplace.
#4.Consultation and participation of workers.
A consultation involving workers through the management as recommended by Clause 5.4 of ISO 45001:2018 OHS management system standard says that the organisation shall provide the mechanism, time, training and resources necessary for consultation and participation of workers.
Promoting consultation and participation of workers will enhance effective safety leadership.
#5.Safety compliance with the organisation’s standards and policies
When there is compliance with safety standards and procedures, it promotes effective safety leadership. For safety compliance to make sense, everyone present in an organisation at any given time must commit to it.
Showing compliance with safety procedures has to be an all-around thing. If there are places requiring the use of PPE, everyone involved must comply with the requirement.
We need effective safety leadership at all times. Effective safety leadership offers an avenue to promote the health and safety culture within the organisation.
When the management leads effectively, the workers and everyone present will follow their direction. Thereby leading to reduced risks and fewer accidents in the workplace.
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Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.