Everyone agrees that the role of an elected safety rep (ESR) as a safety leader, a motivator and a driving force in workforce involvement is essential for our industry to achieve goal zero incidents.
To achieve this goal, full participation of the workforce through their ESR is indispensable. But the involvement of the workforce through their ESRs is only assured when those reps are active and committed.
A passive but isolated rep will quickly lose any commitment to fulfilling his role. Instead of being a driving force, he will become a hindrance to positive safety initiatives. A passive safety rep is at best ineffective and at worst detrimental. Any apathy on his part undermines workforce confidence and fosters an attitude of cynicism and distrust.
An ESR can only be fully committed, motivated and effective if they have the full support and co-operation of their employer. It is also essential that parent companies, client companies and organisations like Step Change are fully committed to fully supporting ESRs. Talk is cheap and consequences can be horrific!
The continued support from the whole industry must be harnessed if the goal of an active and committed rep is to be achieved. This will pay massive dividends for all concerned. Should we fail in this goal, the avoidance of risks will be a forlorn hope with the resultant injuries and fatalities being accepted in our industry.