The Importance of Safe Behavior (Cannot Be Stressed Enough)

Regulations alone cannot improve safety. Buy-in at all levels is needed to change the culture.

Although OSHA-compliant, many employers continue to have injured employees. DuPont demonstrated this point through a study of over 40,000 injuries, where it was revealed that unsafe actions caused over 80 percent of injuries. This illustrates that in order to reduce injuries, you need to improve your safety culture.

When Paul O’Neill was about to step into the role of CEO at Alcoa, financial experts expected Alcoa to announce an aggressive expansion. They were shocked when the first announcement O’Neill made was that he planned to overhaul the company’s safety program.

Although Alcoa’s program was already considered excellent, O’Neill believed it could be improved. He understood that safety touches every employee in the organization, top to bottom, no matter what position they hold. This is where he wanted to start to change the culture of the organization; to make it a better-performing, better-behaving organization.

O’Neill made safety everyone’s responsibility, not just that of the loss control people on staff. Alcoa’s productivity soared and injuries dramatically were reduced, proving safety and productivity can work in harmony. In fact, the desired safer behavior can lead to increased production and profit.

To Continue to Read: EHS Today

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