Thought Leadership

Coach first, then discipline

January 25, 2012

Coaching isn't easyWhat would you prefer: The carrot or the stick?  

Punishment works and is frequently used in less mature safety programs as a reaction to some incident that hurt someone.

But there are negative side effects: greater absenteeism, more waste & damage, and less pleasantries. Supervisors feel like police officers rather than leaders. Moreover, you'll not get a culture where workers feel they can freely report hazards, close calls, and minor injuries that blind you to the risks out there.

Reward can be a double-edged sword too.

Incentives, where we give money or some valuable item for achieving a certain number of days without a recordable incident too often result in the hiding of hazards, close calls and minor injuries, too. No one wants to lose the incentive.

A company must have a consistent discipline program but it should be designed so supervisors have an opportunity to coach their workers in safe practices first. Any reward program should celebrate the identification through reporting of hazards, close calls, minor injuries and at-risk behaviors (through peer-to-peer observations).



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

4/21/15 2:00 pm EDT

The Safety Selfie: It’s time to take a “snap shot” of your safety program and contemplate what others see

We all know perception is reality and that people perceive things differently. As a safety manager, your perception of your safety program almost certainly differs from that of your workers and your managers. We will use our “Safety Selfies” to expose weaknesses, real and perceived, and to talk about how best to make improvements.

ISHN Magazine


2015 May

In this month's issue of ISHN, check out articles about heat protection, radiation in the workplace, and welding fumes

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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.

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For Distributors Only - May 2015

ISHN FDO May 2015


For 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. 



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