Employees, faculty, staff, and students need to be encouraged to develop a genuine concern about their own health and safety. It’s too easy to care less and become careless.
One of the most important ways to do this is through education into the nature and seriousness of particular hazards and their potential consequences. I read of a hypothetical case where someone placed a rattlesnake in someone’s mailbox. If asked if it were dangerous to reach into his mailbox, the owner would say, “of course not.” Others who knew of the snake’s presence might think differently.
A good way to make your point is through the use of examples where others have in fact been seriously injured or killed doing exactly the same activity. This is why it’s so very important for us to share our knowledge of these experiences.
Another good way to encourage others to care about their health and safety is to enforce the rules. If EH&S is going to be truly important in your organization, the rules need to be enforced. Otherwise, they are just lip service.
As a final example of a way to get others to care … lead by example. People pay a hundred times more attention to what you do than to what you say. Set the gold standard. Be the poster child for best safety practices.
As a supervisor, when you show a genuine concern for the health and safety of those that you supervise or teach, it encourages the development of their own concern.
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