The job of a workplace safety manager is a difficult one. And it doesn’t show any signs of getting easier. Corporate consolidation and increasing safety regulations mean there are more employees and rules to manage. These men and women also must purchase safety and personal protection equipment. All while keeping up with large amounts of paperwork.
While every safety manager is different, the best ones will have certain traits in common:
1. They write safety plans that reflect the culture of the specific workplace. It is easy enough to copy Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, hand them out to employees, and call it a day. Good safety managers do much more than that. They write a high-quality, customized safety program that speaks to employees, is approved by management, and deals with issues specific to that workplace.
2. They inspire employees to want to protect themselves.Quality safety managers are interested in more than just compliance. They get employees to buy into a culture of safety and inspire them to look after themselves and others. They also make employees feel comfortable reporting safety concerns because their concerns are taken seriously and there are never any negative repercussions for reporting these concerns.
3. They go above and beyond when it comes to new safety products and regulations. How does a safety manager know how safety equipment feels when it is worn? They wear it! They also might work a shift with employees to understand their needs and concerns in a way that isn’t possible by just observing.
4. They are industry experts. They read industry newsletters and other literature to make sure that they are on top of all the latest trends. They attend conferences and trade shows and are always on the lookout for new equipment that will keep their employees safer and allow them to do their jobs more efficiently.
5. They are goal-oriented. They have safety goals for their workplace that are both measurable and attainable. These goals are shared throughout the company – from construction workers to the CEO – so everyone is on the same page.
When a company has a quality workplace safety manager in place, everyone benefits. Statistics show that companies that implement effective safety and health programs see injury and illness rates lowered by more than 20 percent. And that makes everyone feel better.