People are the most important asset in any business, and ensuring their health and safety is paramount. Heritage is no different. Safety and Compliant or Not at All is our first core value because we want to make sure that everyone gets home safely. Leaders from board level through to managers and supervisors are central to this challenge. As a leader, your influence on those around you is vital and you have an important role to play in keeping everyone safe on the job.

Your mindset and understanding of the work will help create the conditions for that work to be carried out safely. Your constant attention to risk will ensure that you are never complacent and always alert to incidents that could happen and improvements that could be made to make your workplace safer.

Your words and actions shape how things are done. Commitment to health and safety will have a positive effect on your whole organization. When you make it clear – in your words and actions – that the only acceptable option is to work safely, you are forging the foundations of a strong culture that will protect your co-workers and everyone else.

5 Ways to Put People First

  • Lead by Example
    • Be visible
    • Set the standard, walk the walk
    • Listen to others and involve them in decisions and problem solving
    • Encourage your team to continuously look for improvement opportunities
  • Build Trust and Respect
    • Listen to understand, not to respond, take notes and its ok to get back to people with answers.
    • People want to know they can come to you for support and that you will help them.
    • Treat others as you like to be treated.
    • Give constructive, honest feedback
    • Give praise and recognition when it’s due-we get the behaviors we reward
  • Communicate Clearly
    • Keep it simple and tailor what you are saying so that everyone understands.
    • Perfect the art of dropping in, talk to people on the work sites
    • Project the image of a ‘coach’ rather than an inspector
    • Share and invite good and bad news
    • Invite ideas to improve things
    • Discuss changes and new developments
  • Involve Everyone
    • Get everyone working together to solve issues and develop, review and improve work processes and standards.
    • Make sure people know that their contribution to health and safety decisions is welcomed and important – including the right to stop a job if it can’t be done safely.
    • Look after each other. Be your brothers and sisters keeper.
  • Keep Learning
    • Organizations with a robust health and safety culture learn from past lessons. As philosopher George Santayana famously noted, “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Organizations with a robust health and safety culture learn from past lessons, good and bad, and from the experiences of other organizations.
    • Incorporate learnings into training and improvements
    • Take the “just culture” approach. The just culture concept is based on the idea that it’s normal for people to make mistakes. Organizations should allow for this by building protections into their systems and processes to minimize the effects of mistakes.