We had a recent opportunity to address safety issues with the C-level management team for a well-known Fortune 100 company. During the discussion, we shared a sobering statistic: an average of 12 US workers fail to return home each day due to workplace accidents. We then brought the issue home by posing a simple question: How would you feel if your son, daughter, spouse, or other family member belonged to this unlucky group?
The room was swept by a long pregnant pause. After an awkward moment of silence, we followed up with another question: what is your company’s position on safety? The president of the company finally broke the ice, insisting his organization was committed to a culture of safety. We hear these words often, and it makes sense—what C-level manager would claim otherwise, but what does this phrase mean? Many companies have a reactive policy toward safety. Simply put, investments in safety systems come on the heels of an accident or an OSHA citation. A proactive safety stance requires regular site assessments by outside experts to determine the nature and location of unsafe working conditions.