I recently came across a 2-part article from the Safety & Health Practitioner (SHP) from March and April 1999 entitled Styles of safety practice and was reminded what a good piece it was and how influential it had been on my health and safety development.
Around that time there was a recurring debate – which hasn’t really gone away – about the relative importance of health and safety professionals to organisations and why it was that they appeared to have lower status than some other specialists, such as those in personnel and quality.
The article compared and contrasted 4 very different characters and discussed how the modus operandi of the practitioner can ultimately be to the detriment of health and safety. The conclusion of the piece was that those that operated as mentors and coaches and who worked to influence what it was that operational managers wanted, were likely to be most successful. It argued that a combination of imparting knowledge and unlocking others potential was the secret to maximizing both health and safety performance and the importance of the health and safety professional him/herself.
What sort of practitioner are you? Why not drop me a line? I’ll send you a copy of the article and you can find out for yourself.