In complex sociotechnical systems, safety leadership is critical to balance safety and productivity. Safety leadership is about leaders understanding and recognizing the different pressures that people in the sharp-end normally have to cope with in everyday work – in normal work.
Leaders influence employees throughout an organization with their view of safety and consequently how people perceive the priority of safety in combination with other organizational pressures. Sociotechnical systems need to be simultaneously safe, economically viable, and functional. So, the organization is constantly balancing different pressures, and consequently, safety leadership is about understanding and expressing this. This understanding is vital for safely improving the organization’s productivity.
The safety leadership program is a two-day program for senior leaders encompassing different leadership views and how to be a good safety leader. The course also provides a basic grounding in risk management and safety management.
Another important topic for safety leaders is the basic understanding of human performance and communication, especially regarding safety-critical communication. The course will also provide knowledge in personal differences and culture, including learning and just culture and accountability.
Furthermore, after a limited period, it is recommended to follow-up the course to keep the momentum from the course content and the newly acquired skills.
We have completed safety leadership courses for senior leaders for a global terminal network company. The company designs, builds, and operates ports and inland services and completed the Latin America organization. We have also completed training for leaders in the Swedish Armed Forces technical academy.
The organization will be better at understanding the different pressures that people balance in their normal job duties. This insight enables leaders to understand whether improvements in safety and productivity can be achieved within the organizations’ safe envelope.