Workplace safety programs provide competitive edge, corporate execs say
The summit featured a panel of business leaders who discussed the role that safety and health plays in their organizations, as well as the challenges they face. Bob Peixoto, CEO of L.L. Bean, said safety professionals are in a unique position to make an impact on the long-term success of their employers.
"You as safety professionals are in a position to reposition your company so you should ask yourself ?What am I doing for this organization as a whole?' and ?Why am I happy to be doing my job here?'" he said. "You need to study your company's values and determine how your job can help your company move forward and improve."
Peixoto noted that safety plays a vital role at the company in the five weeks leading up to Christmas when L.L. Bean does two-thirds of its business and doubles its employees.
"We are always focused on safety, and during this peak time, we have seen a great improvement in preventing injuries," he said. "We expect everyone at L.L. Bean to be the safety pros, but we look to our staff safety professional to have the know-how, the technical skills and much, much more to help build and implement our safety programs. We urge safety professionals not to be the safety police, don't own safety, but consider yourself as part of the team, the decision-makers."
Robert W. McGough, president and CEO of DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations Co., said the organization has found that safety is also intrinsically linked to employee morale. The company, he said, frequently surveys employees about safety conditions.
"A recent survey found 98 percent of our employees feel they can report or stop an unsafe act at any time," McGough said. "That was great news for us. We encourage employee empowerment. We have a mature workforce with the average age being 58 and most have been with us for an average of 18 years. In our business we have high turnover so it is important to continue to retain our workers and safety is a major part of it."
Read more at the WORKERSCOMP ForumTM homepage.
August 10, 2009
Copyright 2009© LRP Publications