Leadership plays an essential role in any enterprise's overall safety performance. Leaders establish an organization's standards and are the ones with the power to enforce them. Of course, these values include safety protocols and procedures.
Leaders, from upper management to the crew-leader level, should always be active proponents of safety in the workplace.
The Benefits of Leaders Advocating for Safety in the Workplace
Creating a safety culture requires that everyone is on board. Enforcement will not be able to persuade people to adopt this culture. Instead, what you need to do as a leader is to become, yourself, a safety advocate and lead by example.
According to Aristotle's modes of persuasion, you need three things to convince someone of your opinion: facts and logic; emotional appeal; and credibility and character.
To provide the logic, leaders can provide education and ongoing training about risks and the danger of not following them.
For the emotional component, they can use powerful language, serious tone, and real-life stories about the potentially tragic results of unsafe behavior.
To show credibility and character, leaders should lead by example ("Do as I do, not as I say"). This will help personnel buy-in to the benefits of safety protocols and procedures.
To create a company culture that revolves around safety, leaders need to be persuasive, winning personnel over to the viewpoint that safety is critically important.