It is Time to Get Accountable about Safety
As a motivational safety team speaker, I am familiar with the many recent studies on isolation and loneliness. If you’re currently scratching your head as to what loneliness might have to do with safety, just stay with me for a moment as we move through this article from the Harvard Business Review:
“Our study substantiated existing evidence that exclusion is a growing issue. We found that more than 40% of those we surveyed are feeling physically and emotionally isolated in the workplace. This group spanned generations, genders, and ethnicities.”
Through the pandemic – and after, the teams that should be most accountable and engaged are still suffering. The problems of loneliness, isolation and our accountability to one another have become so bad, the surgeon general calls it an epidemic. A recent, New York Times article (April 30, 2023) on the topic of loneliness states:
“At any moment, about one out of every two Americans is experiencing measurable levels of loneliness. This includes introverts and extroverts, rich and poor, and younger and older Americans. Sometimes loneliness is set off by the loss of a loved one or a job, a move to a new city, or health or financial difficulties — or a once-in-a-century pandemic.”
What this means for safety
Workplace safety can only thrive in an environment of teamwork, where every member of the team, top to bottom, is accountable and engaged. Physical and emotional isolation are the opposite of what society needs particularly in situations such as construction, manufacturing, heavy machine operation or healthcare.
The facts and statistics speak for themselves. Despite many Americans being locked down and isolated at home offices during the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, workplace accidents and mortality were still at unacceptably high rates.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists four key influences of safety and mental health and stress:
- Job performance and productivity.
- Engagement with one’s work.
- Communication with coworkers.
- Physical capability and daily functioning.
As a motivational safety team speaker, I can think of no more important reasons for motivating safety teams, and for workers to care for one another. If the person next to you is stressed out, feeling lonely or isolated, it is bound to affect their performance, engagement, communication and overall functioning.
As workplace safety must be a group effort, how much do workers now trust each other on the job? It is a tough question whose only answer must depend on how much everyone can engage, uplift, assist and communicate. How well is your organization succeeding at this task?
If one out of two Americans have become so stressed, they no longer feel engaged, or perhaps even care, how confident are you that your team will remain injury-free in 2023?
Safety is a team effort; no one can do it alone. Now, more than ever, it is important to care, to engage, to ask questions and to help. Everyone on the team is accountable; everyone on the team must make it home safely.
To reach Scott Burrows, Motivational Safety Team Speaker contact Scott today at: 520 – 548 – 1169 or through this website.