SLC 2016: Delivering and Capturing the Value of Safety

Sept. 21, 2016
Opening keynote speaker Shawn Galloway spoke to Safety Leadership Conference attendees about why safety strategy needs to be part of a company’s business strategy.

If you want to get more out of your workers, they need to be part of your safety strategy and culture, Shawn Galloway, president of ProAct Safety, told attendees at the Safety Leadership Conference in Pittsburgh.

“It may look good, but does your safety strategy define value,” Galloway questioned attendees.

Effective safety initiatives should have the ability to get results, know how to get there and be able to share those results with others. In addition, leaders should strive for excellence and do things that will motivate people to be involved and understand the value of safety.

“If people don’t understand what [safety] means, they will have good intent, but you’ll leave them confused,” Galloway explained.  

If they don’t perceive risk accurately, nothing is going to change, he said. Addressing influence is crucial to changing behavior.

“We can’t engineer all possible risks out, but we can try,” he said. “Safety is not just a goal. People need to know what success looks like. If we want more out of people, they need to be part of the strategy. They need to be part of the culture.”

There are three triggers that could be detrimental to the safety professional as they try to create a positive culture: they don’t understand the measures; they don’t like the changes, they don’t like the person.

Galloway also provided steps, or ingredients to creating and maintaining successful safety culture within an organization:

  1. Define success.
  2. Determine who leads and manages safety.
  3. Determine a desired management style.
  4. Create a roadmap to the desired destination.
  5. Select and align all safety/business programs.
  6. Measure progress and value add.
  7. Create a marketing plan.

“It’s not about failing less. It’s about achieving success,” Galloway said.

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