On Safety

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What’s your New Year’s safety resolution plan?

December 31, 2015
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It’s that time of year again. How are you going to resolve to make the workplace safer, and what will you do to ensure your resolution sticks?

The vast majority of Americans fail to achieve their resolutions, according to various studies, and many of them fail before the end of January. The reasons vary, but often it comes down to unrealistic goal-setting or trying to do too much.

“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on Jan. 1, can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” Lynn Bufka, an associate executive director for the American Psychological Association, said in an APA resolution guide.

With that in mind, here are some tips from APA on setting New Year’s resolutions, and my thoughts on how to apply them to workplace safety:

  • Start small. Rather than simply trying to make the entire worksite safer, focus on one particular hazard of concern.
  • Change one behavior at a time. Similar to the previous tip, you can’t change behavior or safety culture overnight. Instead, focus on the actions that most likely contribute to the hazard.
  • Talk about it. A goal set in a vacuum won’t be achieved. Effectively communicate both the goal and the plan to achieve it. Don’t forget to include input from employees as much as possible throughout the development of this process.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Mistakes may happen, but that doesn’t mean the resolution is blown. Figure out why an incident occurred, and take the appropriate steps to correct it.
  • Ask for support. Safety can’t improve without support from management. Sell safety to employers to get support for your resolution.

Do you have a safety resolution for 2016? How did last year’s resolution go? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The opinions expressed in "On Safety" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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