Now that the Movie the Secret has been featured on Oprah, I am sure it will be getting even more attention. So how can you apply the principles of “The Secret” to workplace safety?
When I worked as the safety directory for a converting operation that was part of a major corporation, I was always frustrated at the negative approach that was taken toward safety. When I had one of my maintenance workers injured while trying to implement a safety suggestion, I knew that we were taking the wrong path to creating a safe workplace.
Long before I knew about the law of attraction or any of those concepts, I knew that wherever we put our focus, we got more of it. When we focused on accidents, we got more accidents. Even if we thought we were trying to prevent them.
Almost every safety program that I have studied has shown an increase in TCIR or whatever measurement is used during the first few months of implementing the plan. This spike is usually blamed on people reporting accidents that they once ignored and other factors. However, the law of attraction explains it clearly – what you think about expands.
It usually takes a while for a safety program to mature to the point where you stop focusing on accidents and removing hazards and start focusing on designing a safe and healthy work environment.
Once that shift in focus occurs, the injury rate seems to magically go down. For those still using a cause and effect model of life, they have a hard time finding just what was the cause of the drop in injuries. They will often pick one item from the program and try to implement it corporate wide. Usually to the ire of other safety professionals.
Now that I understand the law of attraction, I can point you to some factors that will improve any safety program:
1. Create a positive atmosphere where people enjoy working. This goes against the instincts of many mangers, but it will not only reduce injuries, but will also improve productivity.
2. Promote a feeling of safety. Teach people the right way to do a job so that they will not be subject to hazards. Don’t tell the how to avoid injury. Tell them how to do the job safely.
3. Expect employees to work safely. Many safety directors seem to take joy in catching people without their safety gear. Handing out STOP cards and petty fines only adds to the vibration of unsafeness.
4. Design safety into machines and work practices from the start. A well designed machine and efficient work practices will promote doing a job safely and efficiently. There will be no reason for an employee to look for an unsafe shortcut if the proper procedure works like it is supposed to.
5. Make sure employees know that you care by maintaining that safe work environment consistently. Nothing is worse than having safety being thought of as “the flavor of the month” until the next accident.
These five simple steps can be the key to not only reducing your injury rates but also to creating a more profitable workplace as well.