DIRECTORS WHO GET IT - Director makes it top priority to highlight safety throughout facility
Story by: Richard E. Hearron, SENIOR SAFETY DIRECTOR
In order to have an effective safety and health program, leaders must be fully engaged and be actively involved in order to communicate their care and concern for the well-being of their employees.
In our monthly feature article, "Directors Who Get It," we want to highlight directorate managers who continuously work to further enhance safety excellence, which has led to a strong safety culture and contributed to the reduction of incidents and accidents in their organization.
To recognize a leader who truly "gets it," is the highest honor, and it speaks to his or her commitment to safety – a leader who is engaging employees in safety at all levels and encouraging employees to take their safety knowledge home.
The Garrison Safety Office is proud to introduce this quarter's "Director Who Gets It" – Kenneth Steggeman, director, Directorate of Human Resource.
Steggeman makes it a priority to highlight safety milestones throughout his facilities. DHR has been nominated for numerous safety awards, including the Department of the Army Exceptional Organization Award and the Department of the Army Composite Risk Management Award. Additionally, Steggeman had the foresight to select Suzette Floberg to manage his safety program. By his direction and through her implementation, DHR has successfully rated high on the Standard Army Safety and Occupational Health Inspection and continues to incorporate innovative approaches to administering the safety program, which includes administrative areas, trade schools and other building types.
What is Steggeman's formula for "getting it?" He describes his approach to safety during a recent interview:
"Why is safety a core value in your organization?"
Our employees are our most valuable asset. We strive to keep them safe, not only while at work during the duty day, but when they are at home. We instill reminders that translate to off-duty safety, which allows them to return to work each and every day.
"What have you done to improve your safety program?"
We publish a monthly newsletter for all of our employees in which several safety articles are included. We have collateral duty safety officers embedded within each branch or building, creating a more hands-on approach to managing situations or potential problem areas early on.
"How do you instill the importance of safety in the minds of your subordinates?"
Constant reminders and training; relevant and timely articles; and challenging all employees and leaders to help each other and report what they see. We cannot fix or change what we don't know about.
"What are some examples of Composite Risk Management you believe have prevented accidents in your organization?"
By emphasizing and recognizing the employees are picking up a heavy workload and are experiencing a heavy burden these days with the manpower reductions. Many employees are picking up the additional workload created by reduced staff and vacant positions throughout the directorate. Some employees are doing the work of two or three or more positions. We challenged everyone to really get to know the person you work with each day. If there are problems an employee is facing, please let someone know.
Do you think your commander or director "Gets It?" Contact the Garrison Safety Office at 785-240-0647 or email email@example.com and tell us why you believe your leader should be nominated for this distinction.