For many in the workplace, safety is something that is not really a thought. You come to work, assume you are safe and continue about your business. People are familiar with OSHA but may not know the reasons behind OSHA practices and why they are so important. And for most, the worry and stress of a safe work environment should not be a factor. However, for those of us in the safety field, it remains the number one thought on our minds throughout the day.
Why is Safety so important?
Simply put – It is the right thing to do!
By providing a safe working environment, you provide your employees peace of mind knowing that you value them and want to make sure they return home safely each day. Through safe work environments, you create communities in your organization which foster employee retention and referral. Think about it, if you feel safe and enjoy where you work, you are more likely to refer your friends and family to work there too.
When you are driving everything you do with safety at the tip of the sword, you are only going to succeed.
Most companies view Safety as their ‘top priority’. While Safety should be at the top of mind with each task, there is a danger saying it is a priority. Priorities shift and evolve as tasks are completed. What is a priority today, may change tomorrow. When it comes to Safety, here at E2 Optics we believe Safety is at the heart of all we do. For us, Safety goes deeper than being a priority. Safety is at the core of what we do. It is our #1 Core Value. Our method when it comes to Safety is to provide safe, quality production to our team and customers.
Safety became our core value because our President and CEO, Kristi Alford-Haarberg, made it our #1 Core Value when she began E2 Optics. It is her personal belief as CEO of this company to keep her employees safe. She has driven this belief from day one.
Our Safety team does a tremendous job driving Safety as our core value which leads the rest of this organization. Your values are the rock you stand on, they are the foundation of what your principles are built upon. As a value, the emphasis we place on the importance of Safety will never change. It is who we are, it is what we stand for, and it will be the basis for every decision we make regardless of the priorities.
According to the American Society of Safety Professionals, a successful safety and health practice offers expertise on how to improve occupational safety and health by including worker participation, management leadership, planning, support, implementation and management reviews. At E2 Optics, we strive to not only achieve this with our Safety initiative but to set the new standard. Our goal is to ensure all our employees know they are a huge part of the success of our Safety program.
Ensuring Everyone Goes ‘Safely Home’
To elevate our Safety program and involve all our employees, we developed our Safely Home initiative. We believe that what is safe in one situation may not be safe in another. Therefore, we train our people to follow strict processes; but to also immediately recognize, question and challenge things which may appear unsafe. All E2 employees are empowered to act and validate Safety concerns, opting for personal and customer Safety more than anything else.
Our highly trained team knows that Safety is not a check-the-box exercise. At the start of each shift, our employees perform pre-task planning. The lead/supervisor for the crew will evaluate the day’s tasks and write up procedures for how to accomplish each task utilizing the correct PPE. Thus, ensuring each of our employees returns safely home.
Our Safety procedures are top down and bottom up. E2 employees know they share responsibility in site Safety and are supported by leadership through training and continuous recognition. We believe in complete transparency within E2 around incident reporting and are quick to praise superior performance.
On a continuous improvement path
Even though we have a great program, we continuously look to improve and strengthen our projects. This comes in the form of further guidance and training. We look to ensure our managers discuss with their teams about the importance of Safety and why we are doing what we do every day.
We look to empower our team members to speak up and do the right thing when it comes to Safety, regardless of if saying something may lead to a stop in work to fix a problem. We want each team member to know and understand their Safety is of the upmost importance and will always come first.
At E2, we pride ourselves on putting Safety first. We have made it our #1 Core Value and have created programs to ensure all our employees return Safely Home.
For more information on Safety at E2 Optics, please visit our Safety page here.
Mark Williams, CSP
Vice President of Safety & Risk Management
Mark Williams is a safety professional with more than 25 years’ experience in construction, general and petrochemical industries. He received his degree in Occupational Safety & Health and is a Certified Safety Professional with membership in several safety organizations. Mark has been married for 37 years and has three children and one grandson.