♦♦♦   SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE   ♦♦♦

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 to look in the mirror and honestly assess the importance of safety.

I Don’t Have Time

The Number 1 Excuse For Not Getting Things Done

This is one of the most frequent excuses used by all of us, because we always have more things to do than time to do them in.

So, what determines whether or not something on the To-Do List will get time?
What gives one item the edge, the higher priority, over another item?
Compliance deadlines and fear of penalties or suspension of business?
Sure.
Hooray for  The  Fear  Factor.

But we all know that The Fear Factor will only get you so far. Though we may not want to admit it, there is no doubt in my mind that, busy or not, if something is important to you, you will “find the time” to do it. And that brings us to the subject of the other motivators –   Need  and  Desire.

picture depicting possible drivers fear and passion

The challenge for most Safety Professionals is how to move people from behaviour which is driven by fear to behaviour which is driven by need (fundamental) and/or desire (passion). Coupled with that is their (often) difficult task of getting management to invest valuable production time and other resources to achieve that objective.

When it comes to safety, fear will always be a motivator, to an extent. Who wants to die or be severely injured, or even handicapped for life?
Wouldn’t it be great, though, if the time we allocate to safe behaviour and practices and coaching was driven by a deep-seated passion to keep our employees and our peers and fellow-workers (and ourselves) safe from harm? To keep our environment and resources safe from harm?

Do you have the time for safety? How important is it to you? How passionate are you about creating and/or maintaining a safe workplace, home, community? Is safety in your company driven by fear, or is it driven by passion for people and the environment … or more by one than the other? And is it enough to make your co-workers invest personally in safety if you aren’t willing to invest the time?

… it’s never too late to change …

“If the past was not bright, then polish the future.”
Heather-Lynn Roberts

ACTION

  • Think before you use the “I don’t have time” excuse. All it says to people is that, although you say “Safety Is No. 1”, it really isn’t, thus wreaking havoc with your credibility.
  • Review your personal motivators for Safety. Plan your time to deal with the important things every day rather than get swamped by all the urgent stuff.
  • Review your co-workers’ and decision-makers’ motivators and find ways to move yourself and the people you work with from compliance-driven to passion-driven. Make sure that the adrenalin-junkies and risk-takers know to keep those drives out of the workplace.

RELATED READING

Stop Hiding

Politics of Safety – Time

So Many Meetings, So Little Time

Excuse List” – from the book Life EduAction by Jürgen Tietz

“Waiting at the Doctors – Time & Priorities” – from the book Life EduAction by Jürgen Tietz

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