As companies look to save money at every opportunity, time after time they look to their Safety Professional. Many Executives and Managers do not perceive the company’s Safety Professional as being “busy” due to their product is not on the shelf for sale.
When this mindset is accepted the extra task start stacking on. HR, Warehouse Manager, Delivery Driver, etc. The initial savings in personnel cost look GREAT, the person in charge of staffing may even be getting a bonus for the savings. But how long will the “savings” last?
Most professionals are focused on their field of expertise. Safety Professionals spend years honing their craft. Countless hours in the classroom, long days walking projects in various weather conditions, and then there’s the 400 Billion personalities that they have to deal with (yes most people have several personalities I am the proud owner of at least 6). All while making every effort to train the workforce and get them home to their loved ones each night.
That last paragraph was a mouth full and I didn’t even start on half of a Safety Professional’s duties. So, when companies add the additional responsibilities something has to give. In most cases the employee is pulled away from safety for what some executive level manager deems to be a more important task. New Hire Orientation is cancelled so materials that a Superintendent forgot to order can be rushed to the project. The following day that new employee who wasn’t trained is injured on the job and spends 6 months recovering. The OSHA 30 hour class for Superintendents is cancelled because the accounting department needs an inventory of the warehouse for their year end audit. Two weeks later the company has a visit from OSHA and receives 6 citations with $50,000 dollars in fines. Project audits are placed on hold because health insurance benefits have to be reviewed and updated prior to open enrollment. During this time the projects are deteriorating. Near misses and injuries are a daily occurrence. As a result the company’s EMR skyrockets disqualifying them for future contracts.
So what happened to the savings of having the Safety Professional wear multiple hats? The company is now tied down in lawsuits and fines with little opportunity for future profits.
The bottom line is this, Professionals are exactly that, PROFESSIONALS. Allow them to wear the one hat that fits and enjoy the success of your company.
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