♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Oct 2012

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies.
One of the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance is DISCIPLINE.
A safe operation requires employees who are SELF-disciplined. What drives it? How can you get it?

     

Discipline and Passion

key ingredients in the foundation mix of safety

Picture: collage depicting that passion in anything leads to self-discipline

     

DISCIPLINE is a key ingredient in the foundation mix of safety. NO discipline means NO sustainable safety.

The crown of discipline is SELF-DISCIPLINE – everybody taking safety seriously, all the time, without policing, at work and at home . . . . the habit of doing the safe thing and working to a code of conduct.

A close cousin to self-discipline is PASSION. Commitment – Dedication – Focus – Consistent – Concentration – Perseverance. These all are features of passion.

The best way to explain the strong link between passion and self-discipline is the sports analogy. World class sportsmen and women have an immense passion for their sport. As a result of passion, they develop the self-discipline to get up at the crack of dawn and into the water or onto the track to practice, practice, and practice, every day to improve their skill and performance. They play to the rules of the game and are fanatical about reaching their goals to become (world) champions in their field. These champs have bridged the gap between reason and desire.

The Road to Safety Discipline is a tough one, spanning a four-pillared bridge of self-discipline – cleanliness, orderliness, punctuality and compliance.

What is called for are independent safety thinkers and consequently active safety employees. We have to grow Safety BEE’s – Behaviour (safety) Empowered Employees. We have to get people beyond understanding and even accepting the reason for safety to having a deep felt desire to practice safety.

How to grow employees to be passionate about safety and thus safety self-discipline?

This is the most demanding challenge you will face in terms of behavioural safety. I use the player / coach analogy. The player has to show up and practice, which includes doing things that are not fun like fitness training, or in a safety sense, good housekeeping. The coach must be, consistently, a safety VIP – Visible, Involved, Pro-active. This LEADERSHIP ROLE is critical.

The full article on this subject, “The Power of Discipline”, is available as a download.

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