October 29 2017
By: Terry L. Mathis
I recently had a safety manager tell me that regulations had tied his hands and he could not really determine if a job candidate was a safe worker or not. I agree you can no longer call the last employer and ask if the worker got injured on the job, but there are things you can do. Safe workers tend to have certain characteristics and perceptions that distinguish them from unsafe workers. Learn what these are and to question for them in your job interviews.
First, learn to determine skill and competency levels. Skilled and competent workers are not all safe but it is very difficult to be safe if you don't know how to do your job. Then, look up terms like "Locus of Control" or "Self-Efficacy" to find some sample questions to help determine these. Also, think of what kind of perceptions about safety you would like a worker to have to fit in with your safety culture and help continuously improve it. Just because there are some things you cannot do to determine how safe a worker may be, don't let it keep you from doing the things you can!
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.