Today's News

Prevent an injury upturn in an economic downturn (4/9)

April 9, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

On April 7, global safety consulting firm BST announced five recommendations for business leaders to protect worker safety and health during the economic downturn. The recommendations, released in a new white paper titled "Leading Safety in a Downturn," outlines the effects of a recession on workplace safety and proposes five actions to address them, according to a BST press release.

According to the paper, common downturn events, such as job reassignments and layoffs, can increase employee exposure to injury just as many organizations have fewer available resources to manage those risks.

According to BST Vice President Don Groover, "A downturn can also have significant cultural implications for a business. What leaders do now with respect to safety and the business sends a message to employees about what really matters. That message will resonate long after the outside situation improves." In the paper, BST recommends that leaders:

1. Open up and communicate why safety matters now.Employees anxious about the impact of the economy on the company, and on them personally, can be at increased risk for injury. Leaders need to be out front, demonstrating concern, listening, and taking appropriate actions.

2. Consider the effects of your actions on the culture. How leaders "do the hard stuff" - layoffs, job assignments, budget cuts - will dictate how people engage in safety and the business now and down the road.

3. Refine your strategy. Oftentimes safety performance can become bogged down, both financially and functionally, by legacy systems that no longer meet the needs of the business. Many companies find that their actual needs dictate an investment in fewer (or different) systems than they have right now.

4. Work the fundamentals. Survival in a downturn, for any part of the business, is about targeting the core elements that sustain the enterprise. In safety performance, that means protecting the lives and livelihoods of employees. Life-altering injuries and fatalities must be a primary concern. 5. Demonstrate - and develop - transformational leadership. Leaders who use a transformational style are more successful at creating the will to go "above and beyond" self-interest and give people a sense of purpose, belonging, and understanding regarding the work they do.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN SEPTEMBER 2014 COVER

2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.