June 16 2019
By: Terry L. Mathis
I have advocated for some time that workers should be viewed as the customers of safety, not the problem. As such, these customers should be heard. Safety professionals should ask workers what they need to be safe rather than deciding for them without their input. Safety professionals may know more about their needs, and about resources and equipment available to fill those needs, but they are not the ones doing the work. One major cause of problems is solutions, and I regularly talk to workers who wish managers and safety folks would get their input before making changes.
The other side of this issue is that workers don't know what they don't know. New innovations in safety may not be advertised to workers, and safety professionals may need to make them aware. BUT, they should not make the decision without the input of workers.
Quit trying to control workers and start adding value to their safety efforts.
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.