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We all depend on each other to be safe

December 15, 2013

Safety in 2014 ISQEM

By Wayne J Harris

Many of us have already planned our objectives and approach for 2014. If you haven’t then you might be starting the New Year at a disadvantage. It’s no good running the same old approach over and over again. People need variety and they need to be engaged.

In just over 2 weeks’ time people will be returning back to work after the festive and New Year’s holiday. You need to ensure that you start communicating your health and safety objectives as soon as possible. Leave it too long and you might end up at the back of the queue for any support.

So think about your engagement strategy. What can you do to help start the New Year and generate the level of interest that will continually drive safety throughout the year?

What do employees really want?

Safety Occupation

In general most employees just want to be recognized as individuals, shown appreciation, and be given opportunities to grow and participate within a company.

Here are 4 easy low-cost ideas for engaging your employees that can have a big return on investment and get them involved in safety.

  1. Call an employee or working group into your office, just to say thank you for working safely. You will be surprised how quickly this gets around. Peer appreciation goes a long way in today’s working environment.
  2. Create an employee newsletter to share updates and recognition, but make sure you use photographs of employees at all levels. Not just senior managers blowing their own trumpets.
  3. Identify employees who are outspoken and Invite them to join a safety leadership team. People like to be recognised and by inviting them to join leadership teams you play on a great engagement tool called “Ego”. Remember people like to stand up and be recognised by others and once hooked can become successful safety ambassadors.
  4. Get workers involved in making decisions about safety as this is a great way to increase feelings of trust and pride. Their input into safety procedures, selection of PPE, and other decisions that affect their own personal safety is paramount for engagement.


Final Comment

There are many ways in which companies engage and motivate employees. The main purpose of this article is to make sure that you have it on your corporate agenda.

As the title of this article says “we depend on each other to be safe” but you need to make sure that everyone is given the opportunity to be involved.

So make sure you get everyone on the same page.  Management, supervisors, employees and the health and safety team must all have the same vision.  Everyone must understand that safety really is important to each level of the organisation, and employees’ safe well-being is what it is all about.



About the Author

Wayne Harris International Health and Safety Professional

Wayne Harris is a highly regarded international specialist in developing corporate risk and HSE management systems with over 30 years’ experience. He has advised major organisations both private and governmental, on key issues of strategy and organisational risk and safety management. Working within the international arena including Europe, Asia-Pacific, to the Middle East. He has a comprehensive understanding of the global risk and safety issues facing an organisation in today’s business economy.


  1. Mike Meisner permalink

    Well said. Somtimes upper levels tend to forget any company relies on eveyone
    for progress/prosperity. Each and everyone of us likes to be recognised.Keep up with your writtings they are very helpful.

  2. Hi my great team, This is a great approach,
    We used to provide annual.. PSP “Personal Safety Plan” as a part of the PMP “performance management plan”,
    But, the function safety plans are either short or long term plan to achieve the company objectives
    taking into consideration, the previous “undesirable” records, near misses and incidents which should be well investigated… to prevent re-occurrence…
    My kind regards, My kind regards Ahmed (Think before you act)

  3. James Aluko permalink

    The ultimate safety is creating a safety cultured enviroment.

  4. Michael Ross, CEH,I.C.E.,CLSR permalink

    Thanks. This is great!! and will be used throughout the year.

  5. Adeduro Ruth permalink

    Great article, if i grow up i want to be like you. In the real sense everybody wants to be appreciated and recognized and people should be given the chances to contribute to a decision making. Sometimes the best idea may come from people on the shop floor. Safety plan must have an objective and this must be achieve by having plans that in the forth coming year, awareness on “no injury and no accident” shall be carried out. With this mindset people will be conscious of their activities and ensure that they work safely.

  6. Very inviting information. We actually do this now and it works but you have just refined some items for me. NOTE: I used to think the term common sense was just that, common and not worth much. I have learned a bigger lesson on this and that is common sense is actually common knowledge to what a person knows best. Common knowledge to a specific trade or profession. Now i use this term with the explanation and this works well with others to. 🙂

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