Safety Services Company
July 11th 2021
Different companies have different attitudes towards safety. There are those that want to get new employees certified as quickly as possible to put them to work, and there are others who want to build robust safety programs.
Jon Cordoba, Owner of P3 Safety Solutions and Instructor at the OSHA Education Center at ASU, discusses why he thinks more companies should do the latter and why they should strive to build a foundation for employee development.
There’s a misconception that safety and compliance falls solely into the lap of the safety professional within an organization. But the truth is, safety requires the help of everybody.
“It’s important that we collaborate with those in our organizations that want to take a better or bigger role in safety in the workplace and find out who those individuals are and create those allies.”– JON CORDOBA
“It’s important that we collaborate with those in our organizations that want to take a better or bigger role in safety in the workplace and find out who those individuals are and create those allies.”
Creating a safety coalition requires dedication to a proactive safety culture as opposed to a reactionary one. Safety professionals need to actively seek out partners in other divisions to create structures and systems within which safety can play a role.
By exploring little ways to build relationships across your organization, you will be able to lead safety initiatives instead of reacting to safety issues that arise.
There’s a lot of myths seen in compliance. Consistent messaging helps to dispel those myths.
When Jon instructs a class on safety, consistency comes from staying true to the material. That means he avoids prescribing best practices at the start and simply sticks to the basics.
“That helps them understand, at least at a foundational level, before we start to pile on all of the best practice that’s out there,” Jon says.
Starting with the basics gives students all of the foundational knowledge they need to make informed decisions on their own. It’s better than putting them in the position of following precautionary measures with no context as to why they are in place.
Once they have this knowledge, the next step is motivating them to use it and follow safety precautions. That can be difficult to do.
People aren’t just going to follow a rule because you handed them one. You must explain the consequences of not complying.
“We tell people what to do and what to wear, but we don’t explain the consequences of not doing that.”– JON CORDOBA
“We tell people what to do and what to wear, but we don’t explain the consequences of not doing that.”
The first step in creating a set of values around safety is for employees to understand the consequences and benefits of their choices. To do that, employers must invest in robust safety training.
The truth is that more companies need to prioritize safety training. Some companies find it difficult to invest that much time and money into training given the volatile market for trade talent. After all, why should you spend all those resources training someone who’s just going to leave your company for another in a few months?
According to Jon, there’s a more productive way to look at it. Quality, comprehensive safety training is good marketing.
“If we provide good quality training that becomes a benefit to the employee, whether that employee stays with that company or not, that training is going to be marketing for your organization.”– JON CORDOBA
“If we provide good quality training that becomes a benefit to the employee, whether that employee stays with that company or not, that training is going to be marketing for your organization.”
If people feel like you provided robust training, they’re more likely to recommend your organization to their friends and family and more likely to return to your organization later on in their career.
And that’s assuming they leave. Companies that invest in employee development tend to hold on to employees for longer periods of time. It’s one of the best decisions you can make for the future of your organization.
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