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Opening of the 2016 EHS Today Safety Leadership Conference: Next Steps to Achieve Safety Culture Leadership

Sept. 20, 2016
Nearly 400 attendees are gathered in Pittsburgh to hear next steps to build safety culture leadership.

In her opening remarks, Penton Manufacturing and Supply Chain Vice President Jacquie Niemiec noted that true safety leaders “lead through their employees and allow them to actively participate and take ownership at safety from every level.”

“Every responsible company strives for a safe working environment for employees, but many don’t take the next step that allows them to achieve true safety leadership,” said Niemiec. “Perhaps they think that building a world-class safety culture is out of their reach, but the best safety cultures are led by business leaders who integrate safety into their business.”

She noted that safety and productivity “must become allies, and safety only can be perceived as a core value within a corporate safety culture when the safety strategy supports and aligns with the business strategy and goals.”

Opening keynote speaker Shawn M. Galloway, president of ProAct Safety, reaffirmed the message that safety strategy has to support the business culture. Quoting management expert Peter Drucker, Galloway said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast. My followup to that is business strategy will eat safety strategy all day long. If it’s a competition, business strategy will win.”

So, he added, align safety strategy with business strategy and culture to ensure corporate leadership understands and supports safety efforts.

He offered a list of "ingredients" for success, among them: Defining success, creating a roadmap to desired destination and providing an ongoing communication plan.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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