According to Paul Balmert, principal with Balmert Consulting, Houston, and author of “Alive and Well At the End of the Day: A Supervisor’s Guide to Managing Safety in Operations,” properly training managers and supervisors on how to handle the challenges they face managing safety performance is something more business owners should consider. Training leadership about safety may not always be front and center because there seems to be many other obvious potential safety problems, such as equipment, procedures and hazards, to worry about.
However, according to Balmert, if company owners don’t offer this type of training to managers and supervisors, it is unlikely they will admit to needing help improving safety performance.
For electrical contractors interested in ensuring supervisors can manage safety better, Balmert Consulting is offering a series of workshops this year, “Managing Safety Performance: Tools for Supervisors and Managers.”
The company’s basic approach in all seminars is a focus on the practical.
“We teach leaders how to manage safety performance—what to do, and how to do it,” Balmert said.
To do that, the company’s trainers “take a day in the life of a front-line leader,” starting from the moment the supervisor or manager shows up to work until the lights are turned off at the end of the day.
“We look at the opportunities leaders have to lead and manage safety performance,” he said. “Every day, there are numerous opportunities for a leader to do exactly that.”
The next step in the program involves teaching practical tools to the participants.
“These are the things that we have seen the best leaders do to lead in the best possible way in these situations—from how to run a tailgate safety meeting to how to correct the behavior of someone who is not working safely,” Balmert said.
When the class is over, every manager and supervisor who attends will be able to leave with 14 safety leadership tools they can put into immediate use when they return to their jobs, as well as the motivation to put those tools to good use.
“In that way, the training lives on,” Balmert said.