Serious stakes

I recently saw a commercial for the movie “Horrible Bosses” and couldn’t help but think back to the bosses I’ve had over the years. Although a couple were a challenge to work with, only one could be classified as “horrible.” And that particular situation has since proved to be a valuable lesson (now that I manage a staff) in what not to do.

My next thought was about safety professionals and how, for them, the stakes in a bad-boss situation can be much more serious. When your job is to keep people safe and leadership doesn’t “get” the importance of your role, lives can be lost. Month after month, press releases from OSHA detailing citations and fines are proof that bad bosses are out there. One responder to a recent Safety+Health opinion poll about “selling” safety had this to say: “For all the talk from management about safety ... if management does not repair or improve known defects, hourly personnel fall in line with what they are seeing.”

Such a comment illustrates the importance of recognizing organizational leaders whose talk about safety is followed by action. 

Since 2003, Safety+Health has been recognizing leaders – nominated by you – who actively demonstrate their commitment to worker safety and health. Forms for the 2012 “CEOs Who ‘Get It,’” due Aug. 31, can be found on the S+H website.

The continued strong interest among our readers, both in submitting names and reading the results each February, indicates that these CEOs and their stories serve as teachers and inspiration to safety professionals whose own bosses – although not necessarily “horrible” – may still have some growing to do.

The opinions expressed in “Editor’s Note” do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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