Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 34
Are You a
WHATEVER IMAGE the word
"leadership" might bring to
mind, the fact is, it often can be
difficult to demonstrate. Sometimes, leadership means going
against the flow, when the flow
is going in the wrong direction.
When it comes to safety, though,
anyone on a plant-floor team
can be a leader. Everyone should
be, even when that means
taking what might seem like an
Safety leadership on the plant
floor requires real courage, given
the many issues that personnel
regularly confront. Those issues
include, among other things,
scheduling problems, cost
concerns, and psychological
factors such as peer pressure and
complacency. The more safety
leaders a team has, however,
the easier it is for hazards to be
identified, action taken, and the
safety "flow" turned in the right
Who is a safety leader?
According to experts with the
All workers should think of themselves as safety leaders and set a
Safway Group (safway.com,
good example for others in multiple ways.
Waukesha, WI), it's someone
who demonstrates that he or
she values safety by working and communicating to identify and limit hazardous situations.
The key to a true culture of safety, they stress, is for all workers at a site to think of themselves as safety leaders and set an example in that regard, not only through their actions, but
by what they say, how they say it, and, just as important, how they listen.
Do you qualify as safety leader? To find out, consider the questions in the following
three-part quiz from Safway.
- Jane Alexander, Managing Editor
Are you engaged during safety
meetings? Do you take notes
and ask questions if something
is unclear? Do you talk about the
Job Hazard Analysis process?
Are you prepared to stop work at
any time if you believe an unsafe
condition may exist?
2. Teaching, Mentoring,
Teaching, mentoring, coaching,
and conducting safety observations are all excellent ways to
promote safety conversations.
Do you take time to explain the
purpose behind safety procedures? Do you help others understand what cues help you assess a situation for safety? When
you observe an opportunity for a
safer way, do you communicate
and address the issue?
3. Taking Suggestions
Good listening is essential for
safety. It also takes time and
effort to do well. Do you try to
be open-minded and positive in
response to other people's safety
suggestions? How about your
body language? Do you give off a
vibe of being open and engaged,
and grateful for the feedback?
Do you provide a meaningful
response quickly, regardless of
the outcome of the suggestion?
All suggestions deserve positive
feedback. It's the building block
of trust and openness, and, in
the end, improvement.
Commit to safety
Most plant-floor personnel
probably can't answer "yes"
to all of these questions every
minute of every day. But when
they make a conscious goal to
be safety leaders, they're well on
their way to ensuring that they,
their coworkers, and others are
able to go home safely to their
families every day. MT
For more information on access and multi-service issues and solutions, visit safway.com