Senior management support for safety

Sandra Oldfield, CEO & President, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, signs BC's Health & Safety Leadership Charter in Vancouver Oct. 27, 2011. Photo credit: Mike Archer/FIOSA-MIOSA

Sandra Oldfield, CEO & President, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, signs BC’s Health & Safety Leadership Charter in Vancouver Oct. 27, 2011. Photo credit: Mike Archer/FIOSA-MIOSA

“When you engage the leaders of an organization – whether it’s the CEO, president, or vice president of the business side – they understand that it actually is better for business to work safely,” says Donna Wilson, WorkSafeBC’s VP of Industry Services and Sustainability.

Donna is opening the second day of the Make It Safe conference on September 21 and 22 in Vancouver. I gave her a call to talk about the conference.

“It’s really important for safety experts or safety managers in the middle of an organization to think about how to engage the leadership of their organization,” said Donna, by phone. “Without that support, it’s much more difficult to move ahead as quickly as you want.”

Having a good safety reputation

Having good safety record can attract new workers, Donna said.

“When you’re in a situation where young people are looking for work, they are going to be looking for the safest places to work, I think. If you’re seen to be an organization that cares about your employees from a health and safety perspective – in addition to having good benefits and that sort of thing – they’ll be interested in taking a look at you,” Donna said. “But if they see statistics in the newspaper and check out ‘How safe is this company?’ and they hear the company has a record of having accidents, they may be less inclined to work for that organization than for someone who shows that they care.”

I asked Donna what delegates get out of the Make It Safe Conference.

“It’s an interesting way to learn when you’ve got safety specialists and employers – your peers in an industry or a related industry sharing their stories,” she said. “At the last conference, I saw a lot of really engaged people. They were really enjoying that conversation, picking up lots of safety tips and I think that’s one of the main reasons to go.”

I’m planning to go to Make It Safe. Are you?


3 thoughts on “Senior management support for safety

  1. Field ID Inspection Software

    We were very excited to discover this post because we recently tweeted about the Make It Safe conference recently, and it is great to find more details! And we absolutely agree with Donna Wilson, keeping organizational leaders involved in the everyday company operations will make them more aware of the current safety issues and more cautious about their workforce safety. Great post!

  2. Mike Archer

    Hey Susan,
    Very nice piece. Gets right at the heart of the matter. It all comes down to senior management. If they are not on board nothing happens.

    See you at Maker it Safe!

    Would it be alright with you if we re-publish this piece, properly attributed, on our website?

    Mike Archer


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