The War Between Safety and Productivity

April 24 2016
By: Terry L. Mathis

After years of working on this issue, we still hear clients talking about how safety and productivity are two sides of a coin and they have to choose which to prioritize over the other. If you still think this way, I would suggest from my many years of experience that you have one or more of the following issues:

  1. You don't have a true and overarching safety strategy.
  2. Your safety strategy was developed in a vacuum and is actually
  3. You have antiquated equipment that is unsafe to operate at optimum speeds.
  4. You have developed the mindset in your workers that safety is the enemy of productivity.
  5. Your flawed safety culture reinforces this dichotomy between safety and productivity.

Diagnose your issue(s) and address them! Safety has been proven to be a friend, not an enemy, of productivity. The safest organizations are regularly the most productive, and vice versa. Safety is not some other conflicting activity! It is the WAY you do production work and everything else you do. Put these two critical issues back together where they belong. It is not safety vs. production. It is safe production.

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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