Think Before You Act

July 17 2016
By: Terry L. Mathis

Have you ever told a worker to think before they act? Maybe the workers should tell you the same thing. I see so many safety programs on automatic pilot, just like the workers. Activities are carried out with little or no strategic thinking. Safety is just going through the motions and hoping for the best. When an accident happens, we often assume the worker didn't think the job through before jumping into it.

The entire safety effort needs to be thought through before we jump into it as well. Simply training, holding meetings, and investigating and reacting to accidents is not a strategy. The best performing safety organizations have a comprehensive strategy for safety. The safety strategy synergizes and does not compete with the business strategy. Leaders and followers have very specific roles, responsibilities and expected results, and all these fit into and support the strategy. Poorly performing safety organizations are usually lacking some or all of these strategic components. Organizations that want excellent safety need to practice what they preach to their workers.

Terry L. Mathis

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.

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