• Health & Safety

The Connection between Habits & Safety

Posted by Sienna Luard·

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The Connection between Habits and Safety Management

Safety management has many challenges.  The biggest is changing employee habits.  The process of unlearing bad habits takes repetition and time. 

How can you make this process easier?

  • Focus on what you want, not on what you do not want.
  • Be selective and do not make too many changes at once.
  • Begin with “Why” a new standard is important.  After that,  outline “How” to implement it.
  • A solid Safety Management System provides the framework for change.
  • Involve employees in developing the standards that will impact them.  They will feel part of the process and  reduce resistance.
  • Create an environment that supports people while they are breaking old habits that did not contribute to safety.
  • Above all, celebrate safety progress.

A Behavior-Based Safety Management Program is a common-sense way to take these ideas to the next level.  These programs reinforce behaviors that contribute to safety.  In addition, they provide clear feedback to correct behaviors that are not safe.

  • Record safe and un-safe conditions.
  • Create and track Corrective Actions.
  • After that, capture relevant data consistently.  This will provide safety leaders with a clear view of their company’s safety performance.  In addition, these leading and lagging indicators highlight the issues that have the highest impact on safety.

Above all, ask questions to get a clear picture of the behavior and the individuals involved.

  • Is change called for?
  • Are expectations clear?
  • What are the natural consequences?
  • Does a skill deficiency exist?
  • Identify appropriate safety training.
  • What solution will produce the best results with the least effort?

In conclusion, these ideas should be part of a larger safety strategy.  In other words, the goal is building a comprehensive safety culture that is sustainable.