Being safe is risky. I know that sounds odd coming from a 25 year safety professional. Before you start throwing stones, hear me out.
Safety pros are expected to have the latest facts and figures, but we also have an opportunity to step up as a leader by understanding the organization, culture, mission, values and finances, by understanding the current environment and providing options that move the organization forward.
In a broader sense, we are all leaders in our own capacity regardless of our role on or off the job, or where we sit in the organization chart. We all have the capability, but we have to choose to exercise our capability as a leader. Choosing to be a leader is situational. Two months into the COVID-19 pandemic the situation is perfect for us to be a leader.
Does someone need help? Are we actively seeking someone who needs help or a situation that requires our attention? What can we do to help? How can we help them solve a problem? Or even better, how can safety help them solve their problem. It may be as simple as asking who needs a smile or a laugh most? Smiling is not only a leadership characteristic, but it facilitates stress recovery. Something many of us can use today.
If your response is “that’s not a safety issue” then I might argue that you are not being creative enough or maybe you need to broaden safety’s scope in your mind.
Regardless, the alternative is to stay in our comfort zone as a technical resource and watch as problems go unsolved, issues go unaddressed. Or as people are exposed to unnecessary injury or illness hazards. By not taking action, we are playing it safe. That’s not what is needed today and that’s not what is expected of us. To do nothing is to rob ourselves of the immense good feeling when we solve a problem for someone personally or professionally.
It’s time to go on the offensive and take action because being safe is risky.