July is my favorite month of the year. Personally, I prefer warm weather, and July in Missouri gives me all the warm weather I need.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to virtually attend the PDC conference for the American Society of Safety Professionals. One of the sessions I attended was on safety programs and the commitment to making it more than a document. The lesson I learned from the session was that having a safety program is good, having a safety culture is better. You can have a written safety program, but those words will not jump off the page and wrap your employees in bubble wrap. You must commit to making the program more of a way of life.
This commitment to a document made me think of the holiday we are about to celebrate and the commitment those men had to a document. These men knew that by putting pen to paper with their signature, they were committing an act of treason and if their efforts failed, they would surely be executed as traitors to the crown. Even though they knew they had minimal chance of success and their consequence would be grim, they committed to something they believed in and moved forward with determination to bring life to that document we now call the Declaration of Independence and subsequently, the Constitution.
While the chance for success of your safety program is higher, and the consequences of failure are not almost certain death, it is still imperative that we take some of that determination to make our document be just as successful. If we do not make efforts to ensure that our safety program gets engrained in our culture, we are just wasting time and having rules for the sake of having rules.
This month, I would like you to look at your safety program and your operation. Make sure that the commitment you have to the safety culture in your organization is visible and that employees feel just as strongly about it as you do. There must be employee engagement inside the culture. If there is not, that document will do nothing for your organization and will not protect your employees since it is just a piece of paper. Take the time this month not only to commit to the safety and health of your organization but also to declare it to all involved so they know how important it is. We believe that together, we all have the responsibility to send everyone home safe. Let’s all do our part to make sure that happens.
Happy 4th of July!