Safety Is A Value, Not a Priority


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Would it surprise you if I told you that safety shouldn’t be a priority for you?

That seems like a shocking statement. In some ways, it is. It is true, though. Safety should not be a priority. It must be a value.

We think of the word, “priority” and we associate it with things that are important to us. In fact, the definition of priority is “a thing that is regarded as more important than another.”
A value is more of a core belief that guides our priorities. It is unusual for values to change.
Yet your priorities can shift daily. For example, it may be a priority for you to make sure that your children always get a healthy, home-cooked dinner. On Tuesday, though, they have dentist’s appointments and you run out of time. So, you buy pizza on the way home. On Tuesday, their dental health became your priority and a homecooked meal shifted to a position of lesser importance.

At work each day, as a multitude of operational, supply, or people issues arise, your priorities will shift and change. What started out as the most important item to address in the morning may not be the most important item on your desk by 11 AM. Perhaps when you arrived at work, it seemed critical that you finish the schedule for next week before lunch, but then you got a knock at your door. An employee needed your help with a product line that had suddenly gone off-spec and was down, putting production at a standstill. Your priorities changed.

Thus, employee safety cannot be a priority. It can never get shifted lower in the pile of concerns to be addressed after something else more pressing. There is nothing else more pressing.

That is because safety must be a value that does not change. Values are embedded in our personal belief system.

Values are embedded in our company culture. Company values are the internal beliefs, ethics, and guiding morals upon which a business bases its objectives and business practices. Companies must consciously place the safety of workers into their values system.

By establishing safety as a core value, your company will be on its way to establishing a safety culture that you need to avoid workplace incidents, boost worker morale, retain experienced workers, and maintain affordable insurance premiums. OCCU-TEC, Inc. can work with companies to lay the building blocks of a healthy safety culture where safety is a value. We develop safety programs tailored to meet the needs of each individual company, thereby ensuring that your employees will value safety first.