Aggregates Manager

October 2014

Aggregates Manager Digital Magazine

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27 AGGREGATES MANAGER October 2014 SAFETY EXCELLENCE Top management is visibly committed. Middle management is actively involved. Front-line supervision is performance-focused. Employees are actively participating. System is flexible to accommodate the culture. Safety system is positively perceived by the workforce. Six Criteria for Safety Excellence Here are four ways top management can visibly demonstrate commitment to achieving safety excellence. 1 Integrate a safety message in- to regular business discus- sions with subordinates, lead- ers, and all employees at every opportuni- ty. As you talk about production, quality, customer service, and finance in your business communications, safety should also be discussed. All too often, leaders only address safety when something bad happens, such as an injury, property dam- age, or MSHA citation. If those things are not occurring, safety tends to take a back seat to production, quality, and so forth. A simple exercise to evaluate the frequen- cy of your safety communications com- pared to communications around other business functions is to look at your email sent folder. In the last month, how many emails did you send addressing safety, compared to emails related to production or quality? Of the emails sent about safe- ty, how many were positive messages that recognized safe behaviors? 2 Personally model all the safe- ty behaviors you expect of others in the workplace. There are many ways to do this. One is simply by carrying personal protective equipment in your vehicle when visiting work sites so you are prepared to demon- strate your visible commitment at all times by wearing the appropriate person- al protective equipment. Your employees are always watching the leaders of the or- ganization and what the employees see shapes their perception of what is impor- tant to you and the organization. In his program, The Challenge of Change, Dr. Pe- tersen says that management credibility in safety is earned over time and based on the decisions they make, how they re- ward/recognize employees for safety, the measurements used (lagging versus lead- ing indicators), money spent or not spent on safety, and their visibility within the safety system. I personally have never met a CEO, owner, or vice president of a com- pany that didn't profess support and de- sire for a safe workplace, but as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear the words you say." Role model all desired safety behav- iors 24/7 — at home and at work. If your company does not allow employees to talk on their cell phones while driving company vehicles, what message will it send if you are seen doing it in your per- sonal vehicle? 3 Visit your work sites a few times per year to observe safety in action and provide positive feedback to employees on identi- fied safe behaviors and safe conditions. You may have to be intentional in doing this by scheduling work site visits on your calendar. You might even have to bring your safety professional with you if you're unsure of what to look for. A former CEO/president of a large construction materials and heavy civil contracting company that I used to work for would frequently fly to various locations to par- ticipate in safety improvement team re- port-outs to local management and spend time in the field getting to know employ- ees. There was no question about where he stood when it came to safety. Another division president would gather his man- agement team into a van and visit as ma- ny operations as possible in a couple days. At each location, they would stop work, gather the troops, and spend time listening to them — truly understanding their unique challenges. " W hen the employees see that their ideas matter and their ideas count, then they ' ll believe we are truly committed to safety. We have to show that. If they tell us they want to do something because they believe it will make a positive dif- ference, then we' ll do it," says Ed Ker- naughan, vice president/general manager

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