Oftentimes, many of us like to discuss safety influence at the supervisory level where much can be accomplished to keep workers safe. But like you, I’ve seen what subtle actions can do when it comes to influence from the top – both good and bad.
Eliminate or reduce any safety vs. productivity conflicts. Adopt and enact the philosophy and vision that ‘safe production is the number one priority’. Develop a safety partnership between management and employees. Actively involve employees in the safety improvement effort in meaningful ways.
One of the changes in the nature of workplace safety work happens to be the nature of conversations revolving around safety. Back in the day when safety was largely a policing job with a heavy emphasis on rules and discipline, conversations between the safety manager and an employee tended to be short and direct.