Safety and Ethics: Safety Topics - July 2018 - Week 3



Monday – How do safety and ethics relate?

Safety and ethics are words that you may hear often but how do they relate? In a very basic form, ethics are a set of moral values focusing on the principles of right and wrong. Workplace safety relies on each employee engaging their ‘Safety Ethics’ every time they face choices where the decision is not clear.

Justifications are made all the time for wrong choices but what if the reasoning behind our choice is not clear? Sometimes there are multiple factors influencing a decision and there is no clear right answer. This is when Safety Ethics come into play. Your safety ethics are shaped by your unique history and influence what you do and the choices you make.

Tuesday - Strong Safety Culture

The ultimate goal of a safety program is ensuring that everyone goes home safely at the end of the day. We should strive to work safely for self-protection and the protection of others. Rules and regulations can tell us what we can and cannot do but it’s our safety ethic that tells us what we should do. Recognizing the effects of our actions and evaluating consequences is the first step we should take. Remember that ethics directly relates to truth, honesty, fairness, and equality. Safety culture cannot live and grow in a space that does not have these basic components. 

Wednesday - Value the Safety Ethic

“Ethics is not just how we think and act. It is also about character. Character drives what we do when no one is looking. Each person has the ability to build, change, or even destroy his or her own character. We can build our character through the way we live—by thinking good thoughts and performing good acts. Similarly, bad thoughts and behavior can destroy our character. A person with character has high morals and will act morally in all situations by choice, not force. A person with character will honor his or her commitments. Character pertains to organizations, as well. A company with high character is worthy of trust and respect, acts honestly, and stands by its promises ( “

“A culture that truly values ethical (and safe) behavior must be led by men and women committed to principle for its own sake, not solely for the purpose of compliance. This foundation in principle perhaps is the greatest strength that safety offers to organizations interested in ethics. Safety appeals to the ethical ideals that motivate a company’s best leaders at every level of responsibility (EHS Today).”

“If the situation involves risk then it involves ethics.” Dr. Larry Whitehead, UT SPH

Thursday - Lead with Safety

A facility cannot get to true safety excellence and zero injuries without the full commitment of all employees. Why not, you ask? Well, safety requires effort from everyone involved.

Decision making at work is similar to decision making in life in general. The guidelines are the same:

  • Do not harm others
  • Stay honest
  • Do a good job

Friday - Free Form Friday

Go around the group today and share one thing that you will focus on in order to ensure you incorporate safety ethics into your daily life choices.

Tags: safety culture , safety topics , behavior based safety ,

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