John Wooden, arguably the greatest coach in any sport of all time, once said he would rather lead with a banner than follow with a whip. To build a total safety culture, leaders must give employees feedback through praise in order to build a safety culture. Corrective action is certainly needed at times to correct at risk behavior. However a pat on the back is often times just as powerful. A safety culture is one where safety is integrated into the operations daily activities and never compromised. Most unsafe acts result from poor safety attitudes NOT from a lack of knowledge. To encourage safety oriented attitudes consider adopting the following safety culture practices:
- actively involve your workforce and have them commit to producing safely
- report near misses
- empower all employees to recognize and report unsafe conditions
- remove unsafe conditions
- remind coworkers not to perform unsafe acts
- give positive feedback when working safely
- utilize mentoring programs
Many companies are using behavior based safety programs and job observation programs. Some reward with positive feedback when a job is performed in a safe manner. For example some companies may look at the following instances:
||was the employee wearing PPE?
||were they using the appropriate tools?|
||were proper lifting techniques used?|
Consider adopting a behavior based safety approach and incorporating it into your existing safety program for enhancing your safety culture.
MSHA extends a thank you and a tip of the hardhat to
Willie Barker of Mountain Laurel Mine
a winner of a limited edition sticker and patch.
If you have a tip you would like to pass on, you can email it to zzMSHA-MinersTips@dol.gov
If your tip is selected, you will receive credit in this space.