When it comes to managing health and safety in the workplace, we all have a vital role to play. Our attitudes and actions will always shape the culture and safety outcomes of the organisation.
Imagine for a moment, the impact on our workplace if we were all to become safety leaders. What if we were to invert the leadership triangle when it comes to safety?
Inverting the leadership triangle
Traditional leadership structures in corporations tend have senior management (CEO, Executive Team) at the top, and the frontline team leaders with the frontline team sitting at the bottom of the structure with the level of authority typically diminishing as it cascades down.
Whilst this can be quite efficient for some areas of the business, it can, in some cases, also stifle the flow of communication and creative ideas. This is especially so when it comes to safety!
When you think about it, the CEO, Managing Director and senior leadership team more than likely have very little exposure to the risks that are present in their workplace.
By inverting the leadership triangle, the army of frontline workers, those mostly likely to discover hazards and risks in the workplace, no longer need to focus on supporting those above them, but instead are supported by those placed in leadership positions below them.
The executive leader stands at the bottom of the organisation, sending a wave of support upwards. The individual now thrives in the environment where they are entrusted to make their process, system or task safer and more effective.
What if all your workers became safety leaders?
Just imagine the domino effect. There would be:
- Less incidents, accidents and injuries
- Meaning significant savings in dollar terms to the organisation
- Motivation and engagement would soar as the entire work force are able to have a real impact on highly achievable safety goals
- This leads to better productivity
- Pride in the organisation grows as safety goals are reached
- Your organisation is seen as an employer of choice
At Channel 1, we have recently produced a video based training program Building a Safety Culture Through Leadership, that will show you how to do exactly that.