We sent a survey to a national sample of safety managers asking them what their biggest challenge is. Was it employees, senior management or safety training?
The biggest challenge for safety managers was: employees. In fact, one out of three chose that as their answer.
- employees, 34.1%
- getting senior management to buy into safety: 19.2%
- regulations: 14.3%
- safety training: 13.6%
- developing the safety program: 10.8%, and
- keeping safety costs in check: 8.0%.
Of course, when you stop and think about it, the top result makes sense. When it comes right down to it, safety managers’ chief responsibility is to send employees home each day in the same condition that they came into work.
Combine the replies “employees” and “safety training” (because, after all, the training is for employees), and you have about half of all respondents.
Look at it another way, adding “employees” and “senior management,” and dealing with people is the top answer of slightly more than half.
We also asked the safety managers to rank each of those six areas on a scale of 1-to-10, with 1 being “not challenging,” and 10 being “most challenging.”
The results (the first number is the average rating, the second number is the percentage who gave the topic a 8, 9 or 10):
- employees: 6.44, 40.6%
- regulations: 5.65, 27.7%
- safety training: 5.44, 28.3%
- getting senior management to buy into safety: 4.91, 26.2%
- developing the safety program: 4.90, 20.2%, and
- keeping safety costs in check: 4.82, 17.3%.
“Employees” received the most ratings of “10.”
We’ll be reporting more results from our exclusive survey in the weeks ahead. Survey results will address topics from safety training to workers’ attitudes to OSHA proposals.
A total of 291 safety managers responded to the survey.
What’s your biggest challenge as a safety manager? Let us know in the comments.