Management Accountability for Safety Results
Most organizations devote considerable time and effort in developing business plans that establish goals for revenue, production, quality and customer satisfaction among others. The development of business plans generally involves input from numerous individuals and departments. The plan details what role each department and individual will play in working towards achieving the desired results outlined in the plan. However, most organizations don’t include safety as part of their business plan â€“ and miss a valuable opportunity for improvement.
Generally speaking, many organizations have discovered that simply developing a written safety and health program will not yield consistent results in reducing accidents and related costs. Properly managing the accountability for safety results focuses on treating safety like any other function of management. Therefore, increasing safety — i.e. reducing workplace incidents, and their related costs is a process which should be managed.
Proper Management Accountability for Safety Results requires management to establish safety goals to reduce accidents and the related costs, identify safety activities that need to be accomplished to meet the goals, establish a financial chargeback system to direct the costs of accidents to the source, and reward individuals for achieving the desired safety results. Once the goals have been set, it is fairly easy to determine if the organization is on track in achieving its business goals. Executive management will then make inquiries to those who have accountability to the plan as to why the results (both good and bad) are where they are.
Utilize this 5-Step process to increase Management Accountability for Safety in your organization.
1. Create a Safety Culture – Safety should be considered as much a part of management as production, quality control, expense control, etc. Safety should hold some significance to all individuals in an organization if it is to be mainstreamed into its daily operations. Until safety can be mainstreamed into all operational functions, it will always be someone else’s responsibility
2. Establish Safety Goals and Objectives – To successfully manage safety, an organization needs to identify the overall desired safety results it is trying to achieve, define specific safety activities that individuals and departments are expected to perform, measure results and motivate employees to achieve the safety results by providing positive feedback and rewards for meeting the organization’s goals.
3. Hold Employees Accountable for Safety Goals – By holding individuals accountable for safety activities, an organization is creating a culture where employees are watching over themselves. Safety expectations have been established and management lets the individuals work towards reaching the goals.
4. Establish Safety Performance Expectations – Establishing safety performance expectations that individuals are expected to achieve is a way to motivate individuals towards achieving desirable results. When people know what is expected, they realize if they achieve the performance expectations that have been assigned to them, they can count on some reward, preferably included as part of their performance appraisal.
5. Reward Employees Meeting Safety Expectations – Supervisors will be more receptive to safety and take “ownership” in an organization’s safety effort if they are rewarded for conducting activities that may change safety behaviors and attitudes of individuals in their departments. Supervisors have a great deal of influence over their employees’ attitudes about safety. If employees believe that their supervisor is serious about safety, it is likely the employees will be too.
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