Safety is a commitment, not just a buzz word

· by Herb Dew

Herb is the CEO of HTI. He founded HTI in 1999 along with John Knight and David Sewell, and remains heavily involved in the organization today.
Spread the love

Last year I was interviewing our current Safety leader, Cameron Colby. During that interview I was trying to ascertain if she was the person we needed to help us reduce our workers compensation costs. You see, up to this point, I viewed safety as a cost and not as a mindset. Cameron turned to me after a question and asked me if I felt ANY risk to ANY employee was acceptable. Pinned, I stumbled and honestly told her in some cases I did. She quite directly told me that as long as I, as President, did, then the rest of the company would as well.

Her frankness that day signaled to me that I had found the person who would do two things: set a vision for safety in a tough industry, and speak directly in regards to her vision about employee safety.

After a year with Cameron, I now understand the challenge that our industry has in regards to insuring our employee’s well being at our client sites. You see, SAFETY is not just a cool buzz word that is easily tossed around. Is ANY accident an acceptable one? No. Are all accidents preventable? Yes. I didn’t truly understand that before we started on our safety journey…but I do now.

I have a new vision: That I can someday look at all of our employees face to face and assure them that they are stakeholders in the best Safety program in South Carolina. That we have trained them well, that our clients view us as equal partners in safety strategy, and that all of our work sites are “best practice” when it comes to accident awareness, employee participation and corrective actions.

This is our safety fight. I am excited. It’s a noble fight with nothing but upside. And our employees and our customers will respect us for it.

Safety is a commitment, not a buzz word.