Abc of Safety

By Gary W. Hanson, President of American Safety and Health Management Consultants, Inc.

When we start school one of the first things we are taught is our ABC’s. They are the building blocks of our ability to read. Without learning our ABC’s we are at an extreme disadvantage in life. The ABC’s are so fundamental to learning that often when faced with learning new tasks, we are told it is as simple as ABC. The same adage goes for safety. If you want to have a truly effective Safety Program you must know the ABC’s of Safety. These are: • Awareness • Behavior • Attitude • Commitment • Belief • Consistency Each of the above are important elements and must be understood. Nothing gets invented, nothing gets developed and nothing gets improved unless someone first becomes Aware that something can, should and needs to be done. If a company is not aware that safety is an important management element, all too often little or no effort will be put into the Safety Program. Ask yourself this question, of the ten most important critical management elements necessary for the success of your company, where does safety rank? I often ask that question in the seminars. I do, unfortunately, all too often hear that safety didn’t even make the top ten. Other times it is on the bottom part of the list. In these companies it is clear that they are not aware of the importance of safety. Those companies that are aware have safety near the top of the list. The next element is Attitude. It is not simply enough to be aware that safety is important, a company must want to have a good Safety Program. I call this the want to attitude. In order for a company to want a good Safety Program they need to understand how a good Safety Program protects the most vital assets and directly contributes to the company’s overall success, growth and profitability. The real value is in safety and is worth the effort. Companies need to Believe in the importance of safety and their Safety...