Thoughts from John: Is “safety” just a buzzword?  

June 9, 2020

Do we really care about workplace safety? 

It’s a valid question, especially right now. What is the motivation behind workplace safety? 

We’re seeing a lot of brands and organizations roll out shiny, new safety videos, HR policies that dictate hand washing habits and recommend certain PPE, but what is it really for? 

Is it just for show? To mitigate company liability? 

Or is it out of genuine concern for the health and safety of our employees? 

I think if most of us are completely honest, it’s a mix. There’s a lot of conflicting feelings about the severity of the coronavirus and safety precautions, and people are understandably frustrated with the constant cycle of misinformation, correction, and lack of enforcement. 

Workplace safety becomes another target for “political correctness,” as though it’s an abstract idea for debate rather than a very real component that can affect our health. 

And, that’s because many of us have never truly had to contend with real threats to our health or safety at work until now. 

“Workplace safety” has always been a top of mind concern for traditionally hazardous and regulated industries, like energy, construction, healthcare, and chemical manufacturing. Safety videos are a norm for them. Even if our industry doesn’t look quite like their day to day, we can learn from them. 

When I was a kid, I watched members of my family go to work in plants and refineries, in hazardous workplaces. Without safety measures and job site protocol, they could easily face serious injury or worse. But, workplace safety was a priority because there were real and present threats to employee health every day. 

Even though I don’t work in an industrial space or in plants, it’s still very important to me that I do what I can in my work at Launch Media to improve safety communication efforts in those spaces. For me, helping to implement more effective safety training programs with video is a way to better serve my family and friends, as well as your family and friends, both here in Louisiana and in Houston, Texas.

Because ensuring workplace safety is more than just writing a good HR policy, it’s also about communicating those practices over and over and implementing them in a consistent and effective way to reinforce employee buy-in.. 

Workplace safety is a complex animal. So many factors create strong workplace safety, like an accessible human resources department, clear internal communication, and effective execution.  

So, we need to be asking important questions as we examine our workforce safety policies. 

How are we going to keep our workforce healthy? Do we know how to implement these procedures and hold people accountable? How will we get our workforce to buy in and participate willingly?

At the end of the day, our goal is to do what we can to preserve our employees’ health while they work is the most important thing. 

It’s about returning their investment in our companies. It takes leadership to move from employee compliance to engagement. 

If we’re serious about supporting our employees and their families, then we need to instill a culture of safety within our workplace with effective communication and smart leadership. 


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