Safety Without Vision or Values

October 04 2021
By: Shawn M. Galloway

Vision creates clarity on where the organization is going and defines success. Success is more than great results. Suppose you experience excellent safety performance but cannot explain why. You shouldn't feel confident in sustainability. This vision should be measurable, so you will know if we are making progress towards it and if the results are accurate or not. The results will not last if you have great results but not desirable beliefs, observable behaviors, or knowledge levels. The vision must include what people will know, believe, and do, which explains why you are excellent in safety. All of those are measurable.

Safety Without Vision or Values

Values are beliefs that motivate actions. Moreover, values are created when beliefs are reinforced at or near the point of decision. If you haven't been clear on what beliefs you want, don't expect others to make the right decisions consistently, especially when no one is looking. Safety must become a core, not situational, value nor one delegated to others. For this to happen, you must be clear on what beliefs and behaviors would make it so, and work tirelessly to remove the barriers to becoming common. Saying safety is a value is pointless unless behaviors are consistently observed that create or reinforce this belief. How clear are your safety vision and your safety values? How clear is it to others?

"We see in order to move; we move in order to see." — William Gibson






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 650 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 and Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers.