Does Your Chief Executive Really Support Safety?

February 2, 2013 Dave Weber No Comments



Dr. Dan Petersen, author, professor, consultant, and safety management guru once told me  “Companies with world class safety records… all have Top Managers who visibly demonstrate that safety is a high priority.”  In other words, the top person at a company drives that companies’ safety culture through their actions!    

Below are twenty-one activities that I’ve seen executives at  companies with excellent safety programs do to demonstrate their commitment to safety:

  • Issue a company safety policy statement
  • Participate in occasional plant safety inspections and discuss safety with employees during the tours
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever in the plant
  • Read, understand, and support all safety policies
  • Occasionally attend safety meetings and safety training programs
  • Visit the scene of serious accidents
  • Interview the supervisor and department head after each serious accident
  • Call the General Manager at remote locations after an accident
  • Review accident investigation reports
  • Send seriously injured employees a card and flowers.
  • Visit injured employees at the hospital.
  • Attend funerals for all work related fatalities.
  • Make safety a regular agenda item at staff and department meetings
  • Publicly recognize employees’ safety accomplishments and contributions
  • Present safety awards to employees
  • Receive copies of all third party safety inspection reports (e.g. OSHA, MSHA, insurance company, fire department)
  • Have the safety manager report directly to them
  • Review and approve all safety goals and objectives
  • Regularly monitor the performance of the safety program and the accident record
  • Place safety information on the companies’ website
  • Review safety goals and accomplishments in the annual report


How many of these activities is your top executive doing?   If your executive would do more of them do you think your safety culture would improve?  


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