EHS OutLoud Blog
leadership

Just Say No to Safety Slogans

The right slogan coupled with engaged leadership can improve a company's safety culture.

A slogan in the marketing world typically is a short, catchy phrase that tries to convey the benefits potential customers can expect when choosing a company’s product or service. Ideally, the slogan helps customers remember a company’s product or service when they have a need to buy.

Because a clever slogan significantly can increase product sales, one might jump to the conclusion that the utilization of safety slogans actually improves safety performance.  However, have we uncovered any credible data that links safety slogans to incident reduction?

Safety slogans are easy to come by, and they make managers feel good. Some companies fall into the trap of thinking that if they come up with a safety slogan and plaster the slogan everywhere, that workers will believe management is concerned about their safety and safety performance will improve.

When many workers are asked to recite their company’s safety slogan from memory, many of them cannot do so. Those who can recite the slogan often have something negative to say about the slogan, the company or both.

If your organization’s leadership team truly wants to communicate their dedication to safety, leadership should lead by example, exhibiting the type of behavior they expect from their workers.

Start every meeting with a short safety briefing. Invest in training so that employees know how to complete their tasks safely. Reward safe behavior and employ the company’s disciplinary program when unsafe behaviors are observed.

Achieving safety, the result of having successfully managed risk, is not easy. It takes hard work and commitment at every level of the organization. Employees see right through the propaganda of safety slogans, but they will respect leadership by example.

So, while safety slogans alone may not improve safety performance, coupling them with leadership by example may just give you the winning safety combination you need.

View and download a list of 500 safety slogans here.

TAGS: Safety
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