What Keeps a Safety Leader Up at Night?

The 2018 National Safety Survey reveals how safety leaders are using data to overcome safety challenges.

While 80% of survey respondents indicated that top management supports safety efforts, many respondents believe executives don’t fully understand the value of keeping workers safe. Here are the challenges they said arise when it comes to executives understanding safety culture:


“For EHS professionals, the lack of emotional intelligence (EQ) skills and the disconnect of EHS value integrating/supporting business goals.”

“Adequate training [is needed]. Too many companies pile employees into a room full of computers, where they fly through safety training. The supervisor just sits and reads the paper.”

“Too much influence is wielded by people who only care about next quarter’s numbers. Employees are an expendable supply.”

“Our corporate culture assumes one-size-fits-all when it comes to worker safety and facility safety requirements. Different facilities are at different places in their safety journey so you can apply the same logic to all.”

“I work for a large global corporation. The biggest frustration is the development of ‘global’ standards by people who do not have interaction with the plants and try to do the one-size-fits-all approach. They don’t look at the sites and allow them to do what makes sense for the specific situation at the individual sites.”


Data could be the key to proving how effective a robust safety program could be to a company’s culture and bottom line. EHS professionals increasingly are using technology to identify and reduce workplace hazards through recording and using data, according to survey results. About 58% of respondents said they are using software to track, manage, analyze and report data about their facility’s safety performance.

Despite having to prove the value of safety to top management, survey respondents indicate overall satisfaction with their roles, with 85% saying they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with their choice. Here is what survey takers had to say about their careers:

Small companies need to understand there is more to safety than just having a safety professional on board. It takes an honest commitment from executives to be positively involved in company safety and to involve safety in everything from the bidding process to project completion. Safety shouldn’t start at the signing of the contract.

Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/safety-leadership/what-keeps-safety-leader-night

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