“63% of businesses use email for emergency communication even though it is the preferred channel of communication for only 10% of respondents.” – 2021 Rave Workplace Safety & Preparedness Report
A Safety-Minded Team is Your Best Piece of Safety Equipment
I mentioned the above quote to point out an obvious – and potentially harmful fact. As a safety and teamwork motivational speaker, I know that catastrophic injuries happen because companies think they have created a sense of safety teamwork then sadly, learn that “the team” was make-believe.
It was NBA basketball great and NBA coach Phil Jackson who once said “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
In speaking to companies on safety and teamwork, I point out that the companies with the best, actual, safety records aren’t those that put up big signs that say, “’X’ number of days without an accident.”
Every safety manager I’ve ever spoken with knows that many accidents are never reported. These accidents include vehicular accidents to and from worksites, slips and falls, sprained backs from improper lifting, and even severe cuts and soft-tissue injuries.
The companies with the best safety records aren’t those with the neatest slogans, banners and customized coffee mugs, but where workers look out for one another, elevate one another, challenge one another and expect more from one another.
Did you know that about 75 percent of companies never check up on workers (through a foreman) to make sure they made it safely to the jobsite? Did you know (according to Remedy Review, 2018) that as many as 21 percent of workers show up high on marijuana at work, and according to WebMD, about 15 percent of workers drink before coming to work?
Do you want to be on a construction job with someone stoned or drunk? When workers stop expecting more from one another, all of the safety videos in the world won’t make a difference.
As Coach Jackson said, the strength of each player or worker is the team. How strong is your team, and the most important question: how does your company get the strong team?
Three Key Steps, Plus
The most safety conscious teams have the Vision to create an environment of safety. It is more than saying that safety is the highest priority, it is having an entire team living with that vision. It is more than wanting to get home safe, it is wanting every member of the team to arrive home safely. Then there is the safety Mindset. It is an outlook and an attitude that goes far beyond mandatory training. Mindset is voluntary, as much a part of you as eating and breathing. Then there is Grit. Safety must be practiced each and every day, no exceptions, no excuses.
But it takes one more step. Safety is a concept that everybody must practice. We can’t talk company-wide safety mindset to construction teams, if an administrative assistant puts out her back while incorrectly lifting a box of copy paper. We can’t stress safety to the manufacturing department, if an executive in the C-suite shows up to work high on marijuana.
Vision, Mindset and Grit are everyone’s business, because to save lives, we must make our entire business about keeping everyone safe.
To contact Scott Burrows, Safety & Teamwork Motivational Speaker for a virtual or in person presentation, please reach out to him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169