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The great challenges facing EHS pros today

August 8, 2012
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climbingThe EHS Professionals LinkedIn group recently conducted a canvassing on what constitutes the greatest challenge face pros in 2012: management leadership, building safety cultures, or obtaining and maintaining technical knowledge.

Here are some of the posted comments:

“Management support and leadership are required in building an effective safety culture. If management does not actively support HSE it undercuts safety.”

“I believe the greatest challenge facing an EHS Professional today is balance; understanding the requirements for controlling hazards and embracing the business climate in which you are working. Achieving this balance would then allow one to gain management support for needed controls and influence those individuals that require using the controls. I believe all EHS Professionals need to continually improve their knowledge and ability to interact with that knowledge.”

“I voted for management support since over the 30 years I spent with the tools I saw so many instances where a subject was talked about during the weekly tool box talk meeting, but when the meeting topic situation arose under actual working conditions it was back to "the way we always did it." I also manage the Safety Program for a rather large electrical contractor, and to get management to "buy in" to new procedures, equipment and ideas is as hard, or harder than getting the field workers on board. The support from the top HAS to be there!!”

“Managers are focused to produce more with low cost, Supervisors are focusing to improve productivity reducing waste and re-work. At the end of the day the pressure to deliver the goals is stressful for them. ESH as a service department is required to understand our clients’ needs in order them to see that add value of safety.

“My question is how much value do managers and supervisors see in the current safety initiatives to help them to achieve their production goals?

“As much value they see is as much support we get, at the end of the day.

“Safety also is a good thing to do in order to help our employees to return home in the same shape as they arrive to work with us. Also our employees need to understand the added value of safety everyday when they are back home with their families. This will help to create a sustainable safety culture.”

“Building effective safety culture is of vital importance, but it will be extremely difficult if management support is not present.”

“Self-esteem, self-confidence, a sense of control and authority, a sense of belonging to a supportive professional community, a persevering sense that yes, the job is worth it, despite the current economic malaise that makes all of the above important. Management support, culture, and textbook / rulebook knowledge are all necessary, but especially in hard times it all starts with you, your beliefs and attitudes.”

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