A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Viewing Safety through a Performance Based Looking Glass: Part 2 of 2

As Industrial Hygiene and Safety Professionals, we introduced the idea of viewing safety through a performance-based looking glass and the value it brings by increasing our sphere of influence across the multiple organizational disciplines.  Safety should not be viewed as an “add in” or even a “priority” because priorities change based upon inputs and conditions.  The same can be said about statements such as “Safety is our number one goal” since goals change as well.  Most in our profession will agree with the premise that “safety must be a value” for lasting success and remain a constant regardless of the inputs and conditions.  How can we be successful in creating the culture and mindset needed to drive this value statement?

Let me offer a few suggestions.

First, Industrial Hygiene and Safety Professionals must work to gain a greater understanding of the business aspects of their organization and how their role impacts the bottom line.  It begins with seeking knowledge about income statements, balance sheets and accounting principles and practices that is the common language of business executives.

Second, Industrial Hygiene and Safety Professionals need to work at developing cross functional skills outside of their current discipline to provide maximum value to the organization.  Areas such as environmental compliance, subcontract engineering, health services, security, and risk management all have related responsibilities into the safety and health discipline.

Third, Industrial Hygiene and Safety Professionals must think like a consultant hired by the organization to bring value to the bottom line.  Good consultants have become masters in showing value and worth to the organization and must justify the dollars allotted to them.  This is achieved by attaining pre-determined goals and performance objectives that are measurable and tied to the organization’s mission and vision.  It requires the hard work of crafting a strategy and plan based upon risk and executing the necessary steps to bring positive change to the organization.  It is the aptitude to chart performance against established objectives versus accepting the status quo and trying to deal with it.  It can be achieved when we “view safety through a performance-based looking glass.”