People influence safety culture

  • Published
  • By Al Lederman
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Ground Safety
Safety first. We hear it all the time. At some level, safety is built into everything we use and consume, from the car you drive to the food you eat. 

Every day, people influence other people round them in a positive or negative way by their own actions. What one says and does or choses not to say or do will influence the outcome. Being around people who promote and practice safety creates a safer environment for everyone. 

Some people have the common belief that no matter how safe they are, mishaps are the inevitable result of unchangeable circumstances. That belief is untrue because it fails to consider the "cause and effect." 

Mishaps do not occur without a cause and few are the result of material failure or malfunction; most are the result of human error or unsafe acts. People who are careless or don't feel they have time for safety create an unsafe work environment. 

For example, no matter how much training one gives a new employee, if the experienced workers are not practicing safe work habits, eventually the new employee will do the same thing. Sloppy habits reflect sloppy operations and make a poor impression on other coworkers, supervisors and visitors. One can influence others by doing what is right and by recommending that others do the same. 

If someone asks an opinion about whether a safety precaution is necessary, be a proponent. One could save a life. Let's make the mission, not an unsafe condition.