SAFETY IS MORE THAN THE RULE BOOK
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When you lead by example, you create a picture of what’s possible”. According to this quote, people can look at you and say: well if he can do it, I can do it. This means that leading by example makes it easy for others to follow.
This fact also applies to Safety leading. Safety Leading can be defined as a leader’s intentional actions taken in order to set the standard for safety conscious behaviour within the organisation.
It is a process of interaction between leaders and followers, through which leaders can apply their influence on followers in order to achieve organizational safety goals. In other words, the quality of a company’s Leadership will determine the strength of its safety culture.
People look to a leader for different reasons but we all know that Leadership is influence. And this is why they consider a leader’s behaviour the one to be imitated. We rely on leaders and take on their characteristics because we learn by watching others.
However, whether we realise it or not we are all leaders. Everyday someone relies on us for guidance, answers and directions no matter the position we occupy or what we think of ourselves. The role we play in the lives of others is much more important than we realise. Every day we change people’s attitude and behaviour in regards to work and safety culture. These changes could be positive or negative.
So, as a Leader, what attributes define you? Nonchalance, Disrespect, Taking of unnecessary risks, breaking of rules, or Encouraging, Counselling, Teacher, Approachable?
What type of attitude describes your brand of leadership? Complaining, angry, self-serving or are you optimistic, motivated, honest and cheerful?
Being a successful safety leader is a journey and it requires serious leadership at every level of an organization. Safety leadership helps to create better business continuity, thereby increasing productivity by avoiding incidents, accidents, breakdowns and process failures.
For every sustainable safety culture, leaders must be constantly aware of the hazard and they must be constantly looking for improvement.
We can all develop ourselves as successful safety leaders by being a positive influence on others and being proactive. Let us work towards the common goal by practising the “talk, walk and do” safety model.