We all have to follow policies and rules to get through life. Whether it is on the highway or on the construction project, rules are a big part of our world. The safety world is no different. There are safety guidelines, trainings, requirements, qualifications and certifications all designed to keep us safe. How we decide to follow these rules is up to each of us independently.
Some of us fall into the “I have to bucket”.
This is usually based on fear of losing your job or because there is some authority demanding something upon us that we just don’t buy into. We do it because we have to. The problem with this is we do it without much effort or enthusiasm so it really doesn’t draw people to follow along. Morale is low and people just don’t work productively.
The next is level is the “ I am willing to bucket”.
This bucket is when we find it reasonable to follow along since it is convenient. Someone has made it easy and has established a path for us to follow the rules by creating a structure for us. This bucket draws in some people when they see their peers complying but again, the enthusiasm isn’t there because there is no ownership. Morale is higher but there is something missing.
The last one is the “I want to bucket”.
This bucket is where the most enthusiasm lies. It is where policies just make sense because there is a real buy in to the goals. It is where doing the right thing is carried out in creative ways. It’s easy to see this type of attitude when you visit a jobsite. Access is perfect, housekeeping is immaculate, people are happy and enthusiastic. People are drawn in and solid teams are formed.
Which bucket are you in? Think about where you are and ask someone close to you where they would like you to be. There are a lot of reasons for us to want to work safely, just stop and think about it. Safety shouldn't be an "I have to", it should be an "I want to". Safety for rules sake isn't safety at all, and with that attitude it'll most likely fail you. Safety for your own sake is when the rules come to life. Take it seriously. Lead by example. Be the person that stirs up change on your jobsite.