STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence

Book Cover

Authors: Terry L. Mathis and Shawn M. Galloway
Publisher: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Released: 19 February 2013

Did you know that accidental injury is among the top ten leading causes of death in every age group? With this book as your guide, you'll learn how to help your organization develop, implement, and sustain Safety Culture Excellence, vital for the protection of and improvement in the quality of life for everyone who works there.

STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence is based on the authors' firsthand experience working with international organizations in every major industry that have successfully developed and implemented ongoing cultures of safety excellence. Whether your organization is a small regional firm or a large multinational corporation, you'll find that the STEPS process enables you to instill Safety Culture Excellence within your organization.

STEPS (Strategic Targets for Excellent Performance in SafetySM) demystifies the process of developing Safety Culture Excellence by breaking it down into small logical, internally led tasks. You'll be guided through a sequence of STEPS that makes it possible to:

  • Create a culture of excellence that is reinforced and empowered at every level

  • Develop the capability within the culture to identify, prioritize, and solve safety problems and challenges

  • Maintain and continuously improve the performance of your organization's safety culture

Although this book is dedicated to safety, the tested and proven STEPS process can be used to promote excellence in any aspect of operational performance.

By optimizing the safety culture in your organization, you will give the people you work with the skills and knowledge to not only minimize the risk of an on-the-job accident, but also to lead safe, healthy lives outside of work.

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Press Release: STEPS Book Keeps Selling Out

Press Release: STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence Achieves Amazon Best Seller Status


"I wanted to express my appreciation to Pro Act Safety and Shawn Galloway, in particular, for his participation in our Annual Leadership Safety Conference. Shawn is an excellent speaker, and he really connected with the audience. I received numerous comments from our leaders about the positive message and in-depth insight he provided involving their role in safety culture. I can confidently say that everyone walked away from the conference with ideas about how they could improve their engagement with employees and help drive significant improvements in safety performance. Having read the book "Steps to Safety Culture Excellence" I looked forward to the additional thoughts Shawn would provide at the conference. Shawn did more than deliver; he left a lasting impression that has our organization eager to raise the bar! I would encourage any organization looking to advance their safety culture to reach out to Pro Act Safety. On behalf of my safety team and our company, thank you Shawn."

Al M. Payton, Director, Safety and Technical Training, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric

"Awesome book! Great insight on human behavior transcending beyond the workplace."

Juan Penaon

"Great book. We bought this for our leadership team to read. After reading it there were many questions that we had to ask of ourselves about our already Good Safety Program and Culture. Highly recommend getting this book if you want ways to improve your Safety Program and Culture."

Dennis Barnett

"Everyone should read this. Shawn & Terry have a cool way of explaining the complex and making it sound easy. Everyone needs this book!"

Fred Miller

"'STEPS' is an excellent roadmap for building upon the culture already present in our workplace. I'll be using it to improve where we are going with our business' safety program. This roadmap -- from developing a strategy (most of us don't have one) to selling the strategy to how we do or don't utilize discipline is presented in an easy to follow format. Love the lists of questions to be answered at the end of each STEP. We'll be getting started on our first STEP in the next few weeks."

Brent Charlton, CSP

"I would highly recommend this book to anyone who leads safety or people in general. This is a step by step road map to develop and continuously improve your existing culture to excellence. I found myself reading the STEPS over and over again. This book is rich in information that is results-oriented and extremely practical to start in your organization today. I find myself referring back to this book on a regular basis. Terry and Shawn are truly leading the safety industry to excellence and consistently challenge the status quo of traditional thinking."

DJ Savoy, EHS & HR Manager

"Whether you are running a safety program or simply looking for leadership principles that can change a culture, this book is a MUST HAVE! "The perfect ending of every journey is not where it takes you, but what it makes you" (Mathis & Galloway, 2013, p.ix). If you have a leadership team I recommend reading this book along with your team, to foster a culture of excellence!"

K. Parker, Vice President

"Recommend Steps to Safety Culture Excellence to safety professionals and managers in the work place. Easy read to follow for improving the safety culture in your company and personal outlook."


"As a ProAct Safety follower I was really looking forward to a book that could put all of what our Plant has learned in to a step-by-step guide to keep our journey towards safety culture excellence moving forward. This book is all of that, and more. Shawn and Terry's knowledge, shared experiences and passion for safety makes this book a must read for any organization. Each milestone (STEP) in the book does just what I want a book to achieve, attain more knowledge, further my passion for safety, but more important, being able to apply the learnings in to your organization. Our Plant is implementing and adjusting some of our STEPS."

Mark Casebeer

"This book is a true must read for any safety professional who is or is trying to bring about a shift in their safety "culture" approach. Currently, I have read through this twice - as much as we feel, as safety professionals, that we get it - Terry and Shawn continue to show us (me?) that there are many things we take for granted and shouldn't. The book illustrates clearly and profoundly the importance of having a "TRUE" safety strategy, one that is not just communicated, but EFFECTIVELY communicated at all levels throughout the organization. Although all the STEPs may not apply to everyone, I found that I took something positive away from each one although some more than others. I challenged my management team with the questions in each of the STEPs and found that some have quite different interpretations than that of the main senior managment team - which leads to less clear expectations to those reporting up to those management members. As a senior safety professional in a senior role in my company I recommend ALL of you look at having everyone who are leading others in your pursuits to safety excellence read this book and participate in the questions and exercises. To me, those make the whole book - it is tangible and reflective of how well the message has been previously communicated and how to move forward with the message and the strategy decided upon. As always, Shawn and Terry, you continue to make me stronger and more educated everytime we have some form of contact or communication. Thank you for saying what it is so clearly that even I can comprehend it!"

Dennis L.

"Wow, I can't wait for the whole book to come out. What an introduction, thank you for keeping me inspired. After 34 years of working in our factory the legacy you talked about is what I strive for every day."

Mark Casebeer, Plant Safety Representative

"Energetic speaker that laid out strategies clearly" "Excellent speaker with a good message" "Mr. Mathis' presentation will help me improve how we look at safety culture. Great class..." "Outstanding presentation!" "Terry Mathis & ProAct Safety really gets it." "Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic presenter. Offered up some good take aways." "Very knowledgeable and shared tips and ideas that can be implemented now."

ASSE Safety 2012 Attendees

Mr. Galloway did a PHENOMENAL job in his presentation. I not only enjoyed his easy style, but learned a lot. Of particular interest was his diagram on the safety excellence "bridge." He also "hit the nail on the head" for multiple other areas (i.e., alignment in strategic direction, perception barriers, coaching, safety "branding" issues, etc.) Thank you so much for this most informative session!"

ASSE Safety2012 Attendee

"I have had the pleasure of working with Shawn on two plant-level safety transformations. In both cases, Shawn drove lasting and sustained safety improvement by elevating the skills and capabilities of the management team and, at the same time, transforming the attitudes of production employees. Both assignments were extremely challenging - older facilities with established cultures and ways of working. Success in such environments truly demonstrates the efficacy and utility of Shawn's approach and abilities. I would recommend him and his firm without hesitation to anyone that is serious about transforming their safety culture."

Yurij Wowczuk, General Manager, Illinois Tool Works