Spend a day talking to safety pros and safety product trainers, consultants and PPE vendors and one thing strikes you: a new vocabulary is emerging in safety circles.
You hear little talk about OSHA or compliance. Policing or rules or discipline. The new language is much more positive.
Think about it.
You have Scott Geller and his “Actively Caring” movement. Theirs is much talk about things like empowerment, engagement, positive safety cultures, change agents, safety champions, safety leaders with influence if not big budgets and staffs, leadership in general. The benefits of culture and culture change. Of transformation.
This is all for the better. For far too long, execs – and workers – thought of safety in negative terms, using negative language. Safety was punitive, rules-driven, fear-of-OSHA-driven.
Now, the focus is more positive. The talk is more positive. About safety visions, mission statements, management systems, teams, teamwork, interdependence, emotional intelligence, etc.
Hardly a conversation goes by at the 2013 NSC Congress & Expo without some of these new words and phrases being used.
And it sends a much more positive, energizing message about safety to the workforce, the media, and families at home. It’s a more expansive language, too. Covering more topics, getting into emotions and psychology and business continuity and away from the once narrow focus on regulators and rules.
In fact, you just hear more conversations about safety these days in general. More talk. And more actions and money being spent. Safety is no longer some kind of silent, stigmatized subject. And that’s something good to hear.