Generative HSE
Safety beliefs, standards, leadership & performance


Anton, safety is not my responsibility; it is the company’s responsibility

Excerpt from 'Let's talk about Safety' by Anton Guinea.

Mate, it still surprises me that I hear people say that. You are only one of many employees who still think that it is their supervisor’s, or their manager’s, or even the Site Safety Officer’s responsibility to keep them safe. Mate, there is only one person responsible for your safety, and that is you.

The mistaken belief that workplace safety is not your responsibility can form because it is so much easier to leave the company in charge of safety, to shrug off responsibility and disengage from the process.

I just cannot understand why anyone would trust their safety to their boss. If something happens to you, yes, the boss will have to explain it to your family, the company will have to take responsibility, but it will be you laid up and in pain. It is your family that will suffer the loss of their security.

Your primary responsibility is to refuse to allow anything to compromise your safety. Don’t allow any other considerations, such as productivity, or even people in the company, to convince you to work in an unsafe manner. Take a stand and be responsible for your actions and your decisions.

You might even think about more than just taking responsibility for your own safety - the safety of others. You should ensure that your workmates are aware of your attitude to workplace safety; explain that it is you that will get injured if something goes wrong, and that you are unwilling to make unsafe choices. Your actions speak louder than words, and by being safety-conscious you are not only changing your own behaviour, but you may also be changing the behaviour of others thereby making a real difference to those around you. Remember that your workmates are watching you and assessing from your actions, how you feel about working safely; if you are a risk taker or a short cutter, be assured that your workmates will decide that if it is good enough for you, it is good enough for them. By taking responsibility for your own safety, and the safety of those around you, you will increase the chances that you will all go home from work in the same condition that you arrived.

By taking responsibility, you can rest assured that you have done everything in your power to prevent yourself from being injured. Also, while you will never know if you have saved a life, you can be sure that you have also done everything in your power to make the job safer for those around you.

So mate, it is no-one else’s responsibility “ for your safety but your own. By taking ” responsibility you will prevent an injury to yourself, and you might even be an example for others.  

Kristy McGrathComment