Global Safety, Local Safety

November 14 2022
By: Shawn M. Galloway

In a recent executive workshop discussing the firm's plans for pursuing safety excellence, a leader had a necessary realization. The strategy development conversation moved from what was essential to the business to what the dispersed workforce needed and desired. He said, "Safety is local, isn't it?"

Strategic priorities will be necessary across the enterprise to advance any area of business or operational performance. Safety is no different. The company's various locations, departments and shifts all contain unique people. As such, each group is special and should be treated as such. Like motivation, what works to advance performance and results for one group doesn't always work for another. Global priorities are needed, and local priorities as well.

Global Safety, Local Safety

Globally, what one or two areas, if focused on, would help the entire enterprise move forward faster and provide more sustainable results? Locally, what do the individuals in the many unique cultures within the enterprise need to overcome the many hazards and risks they face? Know your people and what they need as a group and individually. Safety is personal. Make it so.

"Think globally, act locally." — Patrick Geddes

"We only know a tiny proportion about the complexity of the natural world. Wherever you look, there are still things we don't know about and don't understand. There are always new things to find out if you go looking for them." — David Attenborough

"We may freak out globally, but we suffer locally." — Jonathan Franzen

Shawn M. Galloway

Shawn M. Galloway is CEO of the global consultancy ProAct Safety. He is a trusted advisor, professional keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books on safety strategy, culture, leadership, and behavior-based safety. He is a monthly columnist for several magazines and one of the most prolific contributors in the industry, having also authored over 700 podcasts, 200 articles, and 100 videos. Shawn has received awards and recognition for his significant contributions from the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council's Top 40 Rising Stars and Top Ten Speakers, EHS Today Magazine's 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS, ISHN Magazine's POWER 101 - Leaders of the EHS World and their newest list: 50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers and is an Avetta Distinguished Fellow.

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