Charles McLaughlin via LinkedIn | 14 December 2015
Column: Safety Leadership, Bearing the Burden
Safety leadership professionals who are part of organizations with access to ready finance, and perhaps even unlimited resources at their disposal to realize their vision of an improved workplace safety culture, are a rare breed. It would be great, would it not, if we all had the time, we all had the committed management teams, and we all had access to the necessary tools, and materials to make our vision a reality. The burden of safety leadership would then be shared equally around the organization, exactly where it should be. However, for the majority of safety leadership professionals, regardless of the industry or country they work in, it is usually the exact opposite.
For those of us who are not lucky enough to be in the position of having everything at our disposal, bearing the burden of safety leadership, particularly within the middle to lower echelons of the organization, is incredibly difficult. Indeed, having to lead by example all the time, across all points of the organizational compass, within the various departments, mediating between management and shop floor, and, of course, having to navigate through the shenanigans of office politics on a daily basis can sometimes be soul destroying.
Therefore, what options are open to us as safety leadership professionals in this situation? Do we see this as a challenge and redouble our efforts, or do we capitulate and say enough is enough and walk away? Both of these decisions are never taken lightly and may certainly require some serious soul-searching before the final decision is made. Nevertheless, whether we stay or move to another company, the challenge remains the same: How do I, as a safety leadership professional, improve the workplace safety culture of my organization?
Read the full column here.