"It was the middle of our wet November, and we were working on a project near Tigard, OR. Edan, a new member of our crew, was about to begin work on one of our jobs. His task was to reattach a sky light on our client's building roof. I called and asked him to tell me about the safety procedures he would follow on his work order. He told me he was going to tie off his ladder before going up on the roof. Perplexed, I asked him, 'What about your safety gear?' He answered, "I don't need it, I'm only going to be eight feet off the ground!'
"I explained that OSHA's rule was anything over 6' and that our company's rule is that whenever you are on any roof, you must tie off. I asked him if he still had his company handbook for verifying the company safety standards. He didn't know where his was, so I told him I would find a replacement handbook for him and he, of course, thanked me.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is that consistent respectful communication about any and all of our standards will make us all safe, productive and professional.
"The action I call you to take is to use your most respectful communication skills when you are communicating company standards for safety, quality and productivity. You will build your crew into a team of professionals.
"The benefit you will gain is a professional team that takes pride in performing at the highest possible levels safely."
Effective professional communication regarding safety issues benefits the company and your crews. An important part of your job is to keep your team fully informed of all your standards. How do you do this?
There is a natural inclination to cut corners, skip steps, take the path of least resistance. Allowing your team to follow this declining path is a slippery slope that leads to unsafe, sloppy practices. To achieve the high standards required for continuous improvement you must continue to call your team up to the high standard that creates pride and leads to peak performances.
Do your employees make you want to "hit the roof" when it comes to company standards?
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems