If you could stop injuries in their tracks I know you would. You write policies. You conduct training. You do all the things that good risk managers are supposed to do, but injuries keep happening.
What if you could learn the one secret that can put an end to workplace accidents? Would you implement it? Would you see it through?
Here’s the secret
Teach your employees the difference between fault and responsibility. That’s right, the difference. It’s simple really, but the results of its teachings are magnanimous.
Fault is like fairy dust. Sprinkled here and there and affecting everyone it touches. The only difference is that fault weighs heavy on the person sprinkling it around. It doesn’t take much more than a coward to heap fault on people, to point the proverbial finger. Fault plainly put is blame. Responsibility on the bright side takes a warrior to carry it.
Responsibility is about ownership. Something our society today has left in the history books of long ago. Taking responsibility is taboo in today’s world. But taking responsibility frees us from living in limbo and gives us the ability solve the problems that others create for us.
Let’s take a look at heat illness. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that all the teams have water on their trucks in the morning. But this morning the supervisor forgot to fill the water containers because he was on a conference call.
When the guys get in the field they realize that they do not have water to drink. It’s not their fault that the supervisor forgot, but if they do not get themselves water they will suffer heat illness and could die. Again, not their fault, but it is their responsibility to ensure that they survive. They must get themselves water. In fact, they should have taken responsibility earlier in the morning and checked their water levels.
The above example is simple but the outcome can be life-threatening. Learning the concept of responsibility/ownership helps and empowers them to fix safety issues before they become life-threatening before they get injured.
The simple way to teach this is to incorporate it in each and every training that you hold for your employees. Use an example. Talk about the concept. Empower them to make decisions and be safe.