Safety at the Top: How to Gain Executive Support for Your Safety Program
We often talk about the importance and benefits Building a Culture of Safety in the workplace. Organizations that have committed to this and made safety a top priority, have significantly lowered injury rates, reduced costs associated with injuries and improved employee morale.
Despite these results, many safety departments still struggle to get buy in from executives for safety initiatives. Tight budgets, lack of understanding and an unclear idea of the impact safety programs can have, all play a role in not getting the necessary support.
So how can you get executive buy in for your safety initiatives and programs?
Present the Facts
A good place to start is using facts and figures to build your case. According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, serious non-fatal injuries cost nearly $60 billion in direct costs (medical, program and legal expenses) per year or more than $1 billion per week for U.S. businesses. When you factor in indirect costs (rising OSHA fines, loss of productivity, training, equipment damage, loss of business) that number climbs to a staggering $250 billion each year.
Use these numbers as a starting point with executives to show the enormous cost associated with injuries and illustrate how your safety program can help to significantly reduce the costs.
Build a Comprehensive Plan
While the numbers are staggering, you still need to build and present a comprehensive plan to show how you will address the problem. This plan should include details on the elements of the program, how it will be implemented, resources needed and the associated costs. All of this information should be put into a document that can be shared with the executive team so they have a clear understanding of what will be done and who is responsible. It is a good idea to work with a Safety Partner, who can help determine the proper path forward and provide the necessary experience and support.
Assign Roles for Your Team
In addition to getting executive buy in, it is important to build your culture of safety from the ground up as well. Include your team members in discussions around the plan, get buy in from them and appoint safety leaders. Help them to understand the importance and build excitement and accountability around the idea of a culture committed to their safety and well being. Their excitement and commitment can help build momentum and buzz around your initiatives and programs.
As we have said before, focusing and investing in safety, reduces injuries, lowers costs and improves employee morale. A key part of this investment is getting the necessary buy in from executives and leadership, to provide the appropriate budget and top-down support your safetyinitiatives need. We hope that by following the steps outlined above you will be on your way to building your case and getting the support you need.
Arbill protects nearly 400,000 employees every day. We can help you build your safety plan and work with you to develop a Culture of Safety in your organization. To learn more, contact one of our Safety Experts today, for a free consultation.