Safe+Sound Week and Leaders2Leaders: What Should Today’s Health & Safety Professionals Prioritize?

Communication at every level drives safety success and safety engagement at the companies showcased in our Leaders2Leaders Program.

Safety leaders from five companies met in the UK as part of our new Leaders2Leaders programme, a new series of videos, content and resources for health and safety professionals. They discussed a number of topics, including the impact of technology on health and safety, regulatory compliance, barriers to visibility, maintaining a safety culture, dialogue and buy-in with executives, bridging organisational siloes and what health and safety professionals should focus on as a matter of priority. While these topics all are interconnected, the experts had a lot to say about each one.

The Leaders2Leaders programme speaks to the mission of Safe + Sound Week, which was created as a nationwide event in the United States to recognize the successes of businesses that have adopted programs to improve workplace safety and health. Implementing a safety and health program can improve businesses’ safety and health performance, save money, and improve competitiveness.

The leaders included in the video series include:

  • Paul Darby, Global Head of Health & Safety – DHL Global Forwarding
  • Wim Koster, Head of Global Safety, KONE
  • Ratna Morjaria, Global ESH Director, Evonik
  •  Grazyna Momot, Group HSE Manager and MIS Lead, ABB
  •  James Pomeroy, Group Health, Safety, Environment and Security Director, Lloyd’s Register

The topic of the Leaders2Leaders first video chat is priorities: What are they and how do they set them? The leaders participating in the series all indicated that they believe employees – those on the plant floor – are the health and safety experts, and communication from and to them is vitally important. Creating siloes in which safety information is stored and parceled out on an “as needed basis” is no longer the norm.

“People on the shop floor absolutely know what they’re doing,” says Ratna Morjaria, Global ESH Director, Evonik. “They get it. They know how to keep safe, and they know how to keep the leaders safe, so we do a lot of investment into safety leadership.”

She said that employees are asked for their stories about the impact that safety has personally had on their lives, both on and off work – “the human connection” – a concept that is shared by Lloyd’s Register.

James Pomeroy, HSE and Security Director, Lloyd’s Register, said he feels it is important for safety leaders to share their commitment – and their motivation for becoming involved with EHS – with employees. “When we say what has happened to us as leaders or what drew us into safety, then we have that human connection,” he said.

Make the Most of Teachable Safety Moments

Wim Koster, Head of Global Safety, Kone, said he asks his safety leaders to focus on the teachable safety moments. He asks his team to conduct a deep dive into the top three findings from site visits or incident investigations. “What did they do? What did they change?” he asked. He wants to know how they plan to improve moving forward.

Such “teachable moments” are an important by-product of incident management programs, near miss reporting and observation, leading indicators that companies with world-class EHS cultures track.

Safe + Sound Week promotes these companies, because serious job-related injuries or illnesses don’t just hurt workers and their families, but can hurt business in a variety of ways. Implementing a safety and health program, however, can improve small- and medium-sized businesses’ safety and health performance, save money, and improve competitiveness. Safety and health programs help businesses:

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Improve compliance with laws and regulations
  • Reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums
  • Engage workers
  • Enhance social responsibility goals
  • Increase productivity and enhance overall business operations
New Video Series: Leaders2Leaders

This programme brings together some of the smartest, most forward-looking professionals in the industry to discuss the key issues facing health and safety today. Lessons from Leaders is a companion eBook that highlights health and safety: where we are and where we’re going.

Health and safety today is more complex and dynamic than ever. The world is experiencing significant changes in how, when and where work happens. Today, employees are just as likely to be contractors as they are to be permanent staff, and workers are placing greater emphasis on their wider mental and physical wellbeing.  

Watch all episodes and download the companion guide: Lessons from Leaders

This entry was posted in EHSQ, Health & Safety Management and tagged , by Sandy Smith. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the Global EHSQ Content Lead for Intelex Technologies. Formerly the Content Director for EHS Today, she has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. Her work as a journalist and editor has been recognized with national and international awards. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for national business publications, documentaries and television programs; has served as a panelist on roundtables; and has provided the keynote address for occupational safety and health conferences.

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