Ever since the industrial revolution there has been a consistent history of workplace accidents and injuries. Recently there have been tragic and catastrophic accidents within the mining and oil industries, which have cost billions and the loss of many lives. Although there have been significant improvements in workplace safety brought about by regulation, the technology, improved processes and organizational commitment needed to improve worker safety, accidents and injuries remains a significant problem and business risk.
Still, no amount of regulations, oversight, education and organizational commitment will eliminate workplace accidents and injuries. To believe so is misguided.
As long as a human being is directly or indirectly involved in a work process, there will be accidents and injuries. However, this does not have to be an unpredictable, mysterious or acceptable reality of doing business. Beliefs about human motivation – and the workplace models and approaches that have been used since Henry Ford produced the first model T – do not address the human factor, nor do they improve how people perform. The reasons are clear and are backed by extensive research. Theory X and the “carrots and sticks” and reward and punishment approaches may produce short-term improvements, but in the long term they stifle motivation and engagement and contribute to people making unwise decisions.
The question must be asked, “Why, when the personal and organizational stakes are so high, do we choose to rely on motivational approaches and systems that produce minimum levels of compliance and contribute to worker disinterest and defiance?
The Partners In Safety Program is a solution. It is based on models of change and motivation that have been validated by years of research and demonstrated effectiveness in creating and sustaining organizational cultures that motivate and engage employees in achieving and exceeding organizational goals; safety being priority one.
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