The safety world has a wide spectrum of people and talents. Over the last year I have traveled extensively, worked in challenging environments and cultures, spoken to diverse audiences, written dozens of articles that all have some kind of review, and have met all kinds of people. In times of reflection it appears these unique individuals all have their own personal safety culture. There is no real surprise about reactions from the academic set being vastly different from those at the front line of operations. Though we are all interested in our personal safety and that of our families and fellow workers, we all approach the situation differently. For sure none of us knows it all.
I think this leads each of us to work to our own level of complacency, and that is a dangerous reality. Safety pros everywhere care about others and diligently work their skills and backgrounds to help improve working conditions. Yet we often act more as lone rangers doing all we can without seeking much assistance from others; another dangerous reality. Someone once said: “None of us is as smart as all of us. No matter how smart you are, you are stupid not to listen to the experts around you.”
This applies in business where the pressure for performance improvement is often intense and unrelenting. It also applies to safety and the business of developing a culture that does not tolerate or experience complacency when it comes to preventing the potential of incidents. As a safety pro, or a person on the front line whose desire it is to go home safely every day, or an academic; how can we help people understand the value they bring to our culture that helps us get to the next level of performance? As we function in our own level of competence, how do we reach out to others and bring them into the important game of a relentless pursuit of zero?
May this be your personal safety culture.