At the heart of any good EHS program is health and safety management that sets it apart. And as an EHS professional, you know how much of a difference good or bad management can make.
The trick is figuring out how to shift your health and safety management from good to great. Here are three key principles that set outstanding safety management apart.
Effective Management Structure
First and foremost, if you want effective health and safety management, you need an effective management structure. And no, we’re not just talking about who’s the boss or the hierarchy of your organization.
An effective management structure requires you to think critically about your responsibilities, attitudes, and capabilities before choosing your management team. Before is the keyword, because you should already have these considerations in mind when you construct your management team from the ground up.
That way, you can build a management team that actually meets your organization’s biggest safety needs. After all, while you could speak broadly about management qualities that work for any organization, the reality is that the safety needs of each organization are different, and your management team should reflect this.
Clear Downward Communication
Downward communication is when communication flows through an organization from top-level management all the way to the lowest levels of an organization, like water flowing down a rain spout. Put another way, if your communication isn’t flowing as freely as water through a clear rain spout, you run the risk of the message getting lost in translation.
Conversely, you also need clear upward communication–i.e. flow of communication from the bottom of the organization to the top, employees to managers. This is critical for communicating safety issues seen on the job, and it requires two things: clear avenues of communication and a management team that’s willing to listen.
Integration of Safety Into Business Goals and Values
Last but not least, safety goals should be incorporated into your business goals. This does not mean that safety is a goal, but rather a core value.
Before you twist yourself in knots, let’s clarify what that means.
Safety goals are your targets for your program, such as reducing the number of ladder-related falls by 20% over each of the next four quarters. However, they are not safety in your whole program – they are safety metrics you’re trying to reach. Safety itself is not a goal, i.e. a priority that may get shifted in relation to other priorities, but rather a core value, i.e. something that is always central to everything you do regardless of anything else that’s going.
Building Better Health and Safety Management
It all sounds easy, doesn’t it? But as EHS professionals, we know that talking about good management and actually achieving it are two different things. And because you’re in the safety field, you don’t have time to stand still and figure it out.
That’s where our safety management software can help, making it easier than ever to see how your management works and what you can do better. Sound like the upgrade your team needs? Then get in touch today to learn more.