Marketing Makes It Stick – Part 1

04 May Marketing Makes It Stick – Part 1

The Coca-Cola Company has a logo of a bottle cap that says, “Always Safety” on it. Around the bottle cap the message reads, “On Top of Everything We Do.” It is relevant to their business, catchy, and sends the right signals. But, before you get to this point in your safety program, there are a few items that need to be in place.

You have management commitment, meaning that the senior managers are behind the safety program. They provide the necessary resources to fulfill the objectives of the program by allowing time for attending training and by authorizing a budget for safety. When managers look at the metrics that determine their incentive bonuses, safety performance is included. If you do not have senior management commitment, start there by presenting your case to them. You are not “saving the company money” by decreasing claims; you are “making money” for the company by decreasing injuries and accidents, increasing productivity, lowering insurance costs, and decreasing turnover by positively affecting the culture of the workplace.

Once you have management commitment, you have written safety policies. Make sure that your policies are realistic, meaning that they reflect the actual way you do business, not the way you would like to do business. If you need to change the policy to match your habits or change your best practices to match the policy, be guided by whichever will prevent the most injuries.

So you have all of the required OSHA programs on the shelf. You are familiar with the regulations that apply to your operation, such as machine guarding, bloodborne pathogens, hazard communication, lockout tagout, ladder safety, and more. Now that you have senior management behind you and a binder of written policies, what do you do with them? How do you spread the word?

Come up with a marketing plan for your safety program, and then train your supervisors and managers before launching it with your employees. Employees will go to their supervisors with questions, so the supervisors need to be prepared.

Continue to Part 2


Scott Mastley, SPHR, MBA, is the Vice President of Human Resources for Resource Alliance. Scott is a consultant, not an attorney, so he shares his opinions, not legal advice, about increasing performance and limiting liability.