Safety Culture Steering Part 2; Give a Damn


If you haven’t read the primer for this post, please click here.

So how does one get management to genuinely give a damn? Honestly, it starts with a bit of education. When first starting at a location (or when you finally get your act together) you will be doing gap analysis and training has always been low-hanging fruit in my experience.  Seasoned EHS folks worth their salt have a bit of a training library built that just needs master slide conversion. Before you train the employees, it is important to get the information to management. Just 5-10 minutes during each daily meeting can get it done.

Why train management first? If EHS says it’s safer to tie your left shoe before your right shoe and your manager gets on you to do the opposite, it looks like no one has their ducks in a row. This will be painfully obvious to those you want to buy-in. How will change begin if the basics are not understood by leadership?

During this time, employees have not been fully trained and EHS should be coordinating with operations to get it done. Managers will understand the why of the training and this could lead to flare-ups of enforcement action for what has yet to be communicated to their folks.  This is not the time to pounce on workers not complying unless it’s a pre-established and pre-enforced rule or puts them/others in immediate jeopardy.  Gentle, patient nudges in the right direction will get safety integrated in the meantime.  -Equipment down times, power outages, pre/post-shift meetings, etc. will get training accomplished in bite-sized pieces.  Working with management on bulk training times may also mean EHS sets up at 3:30am for a 4am training depending on when shifts start.


That early?!? -Suck it up, cupcake and just go on night shift.

Finally: DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, TRACK AND POST FOR LEADERSHIP! If you skipped someone on vital training, it is better caught in the tracking program/document than if OSHA shows up.

Like this post or just curious what I may post after using a 4-letter word in a blog post title?  Click here for #3 in the series.

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