Ergonomics done right.®
July 15th, 2008

Does your EHS leadership have a face?

Posting a company’s Safety Policy, Commitment to "Green" business practices, or a Corporate No20photo20availableResponsibility report on a corporate web site is becoming a common practice, especially with Fortune 1000 companies and other global organizations. These public declarations to employee safety, public health, and environmental stewardship are typically just a mouse click away from the list of a company’s senior leadership and board of directors. How often do these lists include the senior executive(s) with ultimate responsibility and accountability for EHS performance?

Does your EHS leadership have a face?

If your top health and safety leader is not a corporate officer, is EHS really that important to the success of your organization?

An ongoing struggle for all EHS programs is engaging employees and middle management (and keeping them engaged) in following safe work practices and standards. True leaders provide examples that influence the actions of others (hence the term leader). Visible, focused and consistent EHS Executive Leaders demonstrate care of employees, value to EHS stewardship, and commitment to policies and statements in their actions.

The statement "lead by example" may seem overused but it remains applicable. If your organization makes public your EHS policies and positions through web sites, certifications (ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001) and statements to employees, then follow-through and visible action is essential to demonstrate commitment. Too many times, we meet employees, supervisors and managers who assume the EHS manager or staff are fully responsible for controlling the hazards, aspects and impacts of the company’s operations. Too many well-meaning and committed organizations proudly show and communicate the face of Quality, Human Resources, R&D, IT, and Finance and miss the chance to demonstrate a personal commitment to EHS.

If safety and health is an essential component of running your business (and what business can run without a workforce that is healthy?) doesn’t it deserve a visible leader?

Does your EHS leadership have a face?