How can we encourage our company's executives to buy in to safety initiatives?

Q:

How can we encourage our company's executives to buy in to safety initiatives?

A:

One of the biggest problems that safety professional face is getting management to buy in to the value of our safety initiatives, as well as that of workplace safety more generally. While it may be very easy for safety professionals to lecture management regarding what is expected of them as it relates to safe work practices, it is far more difficult to get top level executives to comply.

Numerous studies have shown that there is a negative correlation between organizations that promote and encourage a culture of safety within their workplaces and the costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. In other words, when the safety culture improves, less money is spent of workers' compensation claims.

So, the benefits are clear, but how can we encourage our company’s executives to buy in to safety initiatives? Here are five simple strategies to get management to back your company’s safety initiatives.

1. Obtain top management “buy-in”

This is the most important step in getting management to support your company’s safety initiatives. If top company executives are not on board, workplace health and safety will compete against core business values like production and profitability.

2. Show the cost to the organization

If top company executives understand the need for change, they will be more willing to support it. You can, for example, host a meeting with all levels of management and illustrate to them both the direct and indirect cost of accidents to the company. Putting a dollar amount on safety can give even reluctant executives a compelling reason to adopt change.

3. Get help from an experienced professional

Enlisting the help of a senior safety professional who has successfully worked with many companies will improve your credibility and influence the executives' willingness to adopt safety initiatives.

4. Establishing company-specific safety culture events

The most efficient and effective way to raise safety awareness and involve various members of the organization’s management is to host safety-themed events. These could involve event highlights like invited speakers delivering key safety messages.

5. Make use of employees

Encourage company executives at all levels to attend external safety workshops or conferences so that they can share any workplace health and safety knowledge gained, as well as ideas and industry trends related to occupational safety best practices.

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Written by Eric Morris
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Eric Morris brings more than ten years of experience in safety management and risk mitigation systems. With a history working across multiple sectors, in particular the Oil & Gas and Manufacturing sector, Eric helps organizations design, implement, and establish successful safety management systems that bridge the gap between everyday behaviors, operational hazards, and organization-wide risk.


As the Health & Safety Practice lead at Intelex Technologies, Eric uncovers ways management systems couple with market leading software solutions to help organizations automate processes, trend results and uncover insights that will transform their business.   Full Bio

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