By R. Ronald Sokol, CSP
President and CEO of Safety Council of Texas City
As safety professionals, we are dedicated to the protection of people, property and the environment. Our success is often measured in the amount of human suffering we prevent as we chart OSHA rates for recordable injuries, lost workday cases or cases of restricted work activity. We attempt to quantify our success as we compare past results against current performance. If the needle trends downward, we pat ourselves on the back, notify management and tout the success of our safety efforts. We become singular in focus as if the success or failure of our organization is predicated on this sole outcome. This type of thinking causes us to be pigeon-holed in our world, many times, outside of the heartbeat of the organization and its leadership. We are brought into the Board room to report on a certain situation and promptly escorted out once our information and expertise are no longer needed. It is a sad reality that this is how a large majority of safety professionals operate. If this is how you operate, the question becomes, why should I change and, if I do, how do I change?