Safety is our first priority… really

If your health and safety performance is poor, turning things around is more about what you do than what you say.

Successful companies move heaven and earth to achieve their strategic business objectives. They disseminate them throughout the organisation, interpreting and articulating them in terms that are relevant to each department and function, so that the businesses resources are aligned and focused; everyone pulling in the same direction towards shared goals.

If better health and safety performance isn’t one of them, there’s little point in saying that nothing comes before the safety of your people and that they’re your highest priority. There’s a limit to what low level tactical interventions like risk assessment, safety inspections and health and safety training can achieve when everyone’s hell-bent on increasing market share or expanding brand awareness.

The cultural change that is usually required to turn a poor performance good really does have to be lead from the top and that means more than the people at the top saying it’s important. Only when employees see the same relentless determination and rigor brought to bear on safety as on other corporate objectives, will they begin to believe the rhetoric.

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