January 21 2018
By: Terry L. Mathis
A client site had a new safety manager who decided to buy all new PPE for his workers. He made the purchases without asking anyone and selected what he thought to be the best choices for each item. Onsite, I walked through the locker room and saw each stack of new PPE neatly placed above each locker, and the workers were wearing their old gear. How many safety professionals have made the same mistake with PPE or other safety-related items?
Deming told us that people support what they help create. Asking for input would not only have decreased the silent revolt against the new PPE, but could have potentially increased worker engagement in their safety efforts. Again, such issues are based in the mindset that workers are the problem to be controlled rather than the customers of safety whose needs and wants should be considered.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.