Make it Safe ... Make it Personal ... Make it Home - National Safety Council

Make it Safe ... Make it Personal ... Make it Home

Make sure you never take safety for granted.

Lynne Syer
January 27, 2020

For many of us safety is something we take for granted. I know, because before I really understood how important safety is in our daily lives I, too, took it for granted. As I embarked on my safety journey over 10 years ago, I ran into many roadblocks along the way. However, one constant bump in the road was trying to figure out how to get team members to really buy into safety.

Over the years, I sat back observing, listening and talking to people; I really got to understand how and why people come to work. People generally work to live, not live to work. People come to work not just because they are forced to, but because it provides a way for them to provide for family and be able to enjoy time with friends or just relaxing.

Once I realized this, I asked myself how, as a safety professional, do I harness that desire into creating an injury-free workplace? How do I take something that is an afterthought to many people and make it important enough where team members will care about what they are doing today and how it will affect them tomorrow? How can I get team members to look at something they are doing that is not safe and think about how that will affect their loved ones?

The answer, I found out, was to make it personal. Make safety something they think about 24/7 at home, at work, while they are driving or out fishing with their kids. Safety should always be on their mind. That is why at the beginning of every year I believe in having a new safety pledge focusing on people. Last year, 1,800 team members throughout our facilities in Northern Indiana made a pledge to Make it Safe … Make it Personal … Make it Home! (Check out our video.) This pledge looks at every aspect of our team members’ lives and engages them on a level that we are not just co-workers, but a family – your work family. We help each other out, we keep each other safe and at the end of the day we “Make It Home.”

Since the implementation of this program we have seen an increase of team member participation for trainings by 40%, an improvement of our incident rate by 37%, and a decrease in injuries by 32%. Taking safety for granted is a thing of the past all because we have found a way to engage our workforce, increase communication and make safety personal. We have broken down the barriers of team member disengagement and opened the doors for the Journey to Zero.

In setting up yourself for success in 2020, I would ask all of you to think of a way to engage your team members to help them internalize safety. Connect with your teams on a personal level to help them understand how important safety is in their everyday lives and provide them with the means to Make it Safe … Make it Personal … Make it Home.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lynne Syer

Lynne Syer is senior EHS leader at Lippert Components Inc. and a 2019 NSC Rising Star of Safety.