McKenney’s had the pleasure of attending the 2017 EHS Today’s Safety Leadership Conference, which was held at the Hilton Atlanta on November 28th – 30th.
“Who Leads Safety?” This question was the overall theme of the conference this year, and a considerable amount of time was spent on that topic. In one keynote address they took this concept one step further with the question “Who owns safety?” As the Content Director for EHS Today, Sandy Smith, put it – “ We take care of what we own. When every employee and every department owns a piece of safety, the culture changes for the better. Striving for a safe working environment for employees is important, but true cultural change occurs when we realize who should lead safety at our company. For a company to achieve true safety leadership, every employee and department must take ownership.”
As this theme was interwoven throughout the meetings, lectures and workshops, one thing resonated loud and clear – we all own safety! Does the front line employee or field leader own safety? Absolutely! What about the Safety Department? Obviously. How about operations, upper management, or the C-suite? Yes, yes, and yes. In reality, all employees are shareholders in safety and have an impact on the safety of their organization.
The conference was broken up into four tracks- Safety & Risk Management, Construction, Compliance, Safety Technology- and examined concepts such as using industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and leading indicators to improve worker safety, maintaining a culture of continuous improvement , and of course creating ownership in safety. One session, led by Terry Mathis, CEO/Founder of ProAct Safety, focused on how to “create” ownership within your workforce. When an employee- no matter their title, role or history in the organization- actually believes they own safety, there is a sense of pride over that ownership. He stated that it is human nature to take better care of that which we own. Ownership is also the reason why some safety efforts are stellar and others are lackluster. The key here is our ability as leaders to influence, engage and ultimately convey that true sense of ownership to each and every employee.
We will take a deeper dive in upcoming blogs into our role as influencers, as well as looking at some tools to engage your workforce, maintain a high level of engagement, and key indicators that you are moving the needle with respect to everyone owning a piece of your safety success.
McKenney’s is OWNING and Moving Safety Forward!
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