Letters to the Editor: Readers weigh in on their “key” working relationships


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After publishing Key relationships for the safety pro in our January issue, we heard from readers who wanted to add to the list. Check out two responses below, and be part of the conversation by posting a comment online or emailing us at [email protected].

It is vital to have an open, safe working relationship with your co-workers and management. If the safety information is not flowing like a river, it soon reduces over time and then dries up.

I am what I consider middle management. I help deliver the safety message to the workers. The owner of the company decides what the safety message will be and how it will be delivered. When deciding on the message, he must take into account what the success rate will be. Is it inclusive of the safety requirements of the present governing authorities, and are all components of a safety plan within the budget to achieve?

The workers are an important link in the safety chain – each one not necessarily as strong as the other. The internal responsibility system must be in place so as to protect and warn each other of hazards on the jobsite. The workers receive the safety message from the owner, and it must be understood by the workers that they must follow the safety plan. There must be clearly disclosed consequences for not following it, which must be enforced by the owner, for the safety plan to work. It must be clearly communicated to the workers that a safety plan is a very important tool to be used by the workers to ensure they all get home to their families at the end of each workday.

Other important work relationships are my fellow members of the health and safety community. They are resources who are just a phone call away. In Canada, we have the Ministry of Labor. It is an essential resource, but cannot always provide you with the information you require at that moment.

Lastly, the general contractor, who allows you to work on their jobsite safely and at times will grade you on your performance and quality, is also an important partner. They assist me by helping me with development of my safety plan, which I will use on their site.

Being safe takes effort and the commitment and dedication of everyone involved.

Scott Catherall
Health and Safety Coordinator
Scarborough, Ontario

I recently read your article “Key relationships for the safety pro,” and I would like to add another important relationship with would-be vendors. These are typically individuals who may be providing personal protective equipment or conducting equipment inspections. These relationships can be powerful allies, as they can look to the market to help you find new solutions to unique problems. They can let you know what has worked or not worked based on customer demand.

Another important relationship for a safety pro is to build a connection with their local OSHA Division of Education and Training, which most times offers free safety and health training to employers/employees and provides free confidential safety and health consultation services.

Tony Mudd, MS, CSP
Louisville, KY

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