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An organization's managers and leaders can—and should—be the greatest advocates for the safety of the front-line personnel. Openness to new technologies and best practices is key to that advocacy and a defining characteristic of a robust safety system designed for continuous improvement.

The Foundation of Your Company - Let’s Keep Them Safe

Front-line employees are the foundation upon which your company is built, but differing roles and responsibilities may lead to differences in the way that employees and company management perceive and advocate for safety.

Therefore, it is crucial that all levels of a company share a perspective and commitment to the organization's values, the most important of which is safety and health. Leaders at all levels can affect a positive safety culture within the structure and ensure that considerations for health and safety are present in all company processes at all levels. In a strong organizational culture committed to safety, the commitment provides a path to openness and engagement with new safety interventions, including new safety measures, technologies, and processes rooted in best practices.

Introducing New Safety Measures

Introducing anything new to an organization can prove challenging, and safety measures are no different. When buy-in is low, implementing beneficial safety measures rarely goes smoothly. But change is inevitable, and mid-level management's position, joining the leadership ceiling to the worker foundation, is crucial in keeping the structure intact while change and disruptions occur. Mid-managers are primary agents of change and can, as pillars of your company, keep the structure strong and intact by supporting the process of managing the change.

But what makes implementing change difficult? One very common reason is that sometimes managers or leaders are hesitant about adopting new safety measures and tools because they have no historical precedent or are not yet in widespread use. But seat belts, hard hats, safety harnesses, high-visibility apparel, or drug tests were new once too. Considering that these things are now staples of health and safety and human resources processes, hesitancy in adopting new tools is likely based on misaligned commitments or perceptions regarding change.

Should You Improve Safety Measures?

Another common reason that change is difficult is differences of opinion about whether the safety system deserves improvement at all, especially when incidents and accidents have historically been rare or minor. But the problem is that most of the time, safety systems are only subject to improvement after incidents have occurred because the incidents exposed a loophole or oversight in the safety system. Or, worse, only the employee involved is blamed, and improving the system is not even considered. These are signs of an immature safety system in need of considering continuous improvement principles, including implementing new safety measures.

Predictive Safety's philosophy is that, with an analytical approach and the right technologies, loopholes and unseen flaws in a safety system can be addressed preemptively, before they can pose risks and lead to safety incidents and lost productivity. Put plainly:

  • You don't have to wait for a safety incident to discover and address a safety risk; and
  • Having avoided incidents in the past doesn't mean your safety system has eliminated all potential risks.

Understanding that middle managers serve as pillars maintaining proper organizational structure as well as liaisons between the front line and the executive leadership is key to overcoming difficulties in implementing new and emerging safety measures. Companies owe it to their employees to remain open and continuously evaluate their efforts in ensuring everyone goes home in the same condition they were in when they arrived at work.

Tools like AlertMeter® and PRISM™ can help give employees, managers, and company leaders an equal perspective on the workforce's fitness for duty daily. It is easy to be skeptical about the value of introducing and implementing change, and change can be intimidating. But change is inevitable, and embracing change toward a safer and healthier workforce requires managers to be champions and advocates for their employees' well-being. As primary change agents, middle managers should be equipped with the tools and knowledge to increase their ability to influence and maintain a positive safety culture.

More Resources:

Workplace Accidents - Why Do They Keep Happening?
The Ultimate Guide to Safety Culture
3 Myths About Workplace Safety
Workplace Accidents Reporting Prevention and Costs - The 25 Hidden Costs of Workplace Accidents
23 Night-Shift Tips to Boost Shift Safety and Productivity in the Workplace
3 Ways Great Operations Managers Increase Productivity And Safety At Work
Safety, Quality & Productivity Technology
Thwarting the Accident Cycle through Effective Safety Communication
Safety Issues Associated with Commercially Available Energy Drinks
To Increase Safety and Productivity, Focus On The Front Line


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