ISHN Guest Blog

Originally posted on Caterpillar Safety Service’s Safety Culture WORLD blog and reposted here with Caterpillar’s permission.

When safety is a core value, you believe that all injuries are preventable. When safety is a corporate value, companies strive for safety perfection. Companies that strive for perfection are committed to attaining zero incidents and they work to manage business operations to make it so: it's the essence of a culture of sustainable safety excellence.

It's kind of simple. A company's commitment to everyone's well-being is reflected in its decisions about everything, from capital improvements and hiring the right personnel, to structuring for efficiencies and supporting employees to get their work done on time. A company that walks the talk not only inscribes safety best practices into its mission statement; it also designs every task of every job so that it can be performed with as little risk-exposure as possible. And will continue to revisit, assess, train, measure, reward. It's as if their actions are saying, "Our jobs and the company's success depends on the well-being of one another."

So, the question is whether the organization is confident in its process to review the performance of workers, managers and supervisors. And if a process exists, is it on par with what's expected from production, scheduling, cost containment, and customer-client retention? Are we talking about our legendary customer service in the same breath as legendary safety excellence?

The question is what actions are being taken to reward desired safety performance and to keep getting better?

Does your company have the same level of performance processes in place to review supervisor performance around well-defined safety duties?

If so, great! You get it.

Chances are, you're rewarding the desired performance during reviews, bonuses, promotions, etc. Doing so establishes safety as a critical piece in what the company values.

If it all sounds inappropriate for protecting life and limb -- or one more unnecessary nuisance to fuel the meritocracy -- fine, but remember this: what gets measured gets done.

The Doc