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Meeting health and safety integrity and ethical challenges.
Effective management of health and safety programs: a practical guide, 3rd edition. Moser R Jr., ed. Berverly Farms, MA: OEM Press, 2008 Mar; :417-428
The director of a health and safety organization plays a major role in setting standards for the unit. While other individuals contribute, the person in charge typically provides good or bad examples that are copied by the other health and safety members. This process occurs regardless of whether the director wants to perform this role or not. In turn, the standards that are established by examples of behavior will help determine whether the health and safety unit is considered mediocre, acceptable, or one of the leading organizations in the field. Two areas that are particularly significant in setting standards are integrity and ethics. There is considerable overlap of these two areas in actual practice, research, and academic settings, but division for discussion will facilitate emphasis on items that more appropriately fall into one or another category. While it obviously is not possible to cover these areas in any depth in a single chapter, the following discussion should highlight some aspects of interest to the health and safety manager. In essence, it is absolutely essential that health and safety managers be trusted, not only by upper management and colleagues but also by those workers the managers serve. Of course, blatant examples of lack of integrity can have long-lasting effects on the organization. Lack of trust may result in inappropriate legal claims against the organization, unnecessary and unjustified complaints to OSHA or other government agencies, and unwarranted fear of health and safety hazards. As discussed in Chapter 13 on leadership, loss of trust can have a demoralizing influence on all of the members of the health and safety team. (Recall the discussion in that chapter where a senior manager blamed a budget cut for a subordinate unit on the parent organization when the cut was, instead, under the total purview of the manager.) Once trust is lost, it is difficult, if not impossible, to regain. Conversely, high levels of trust can be correlated with highly effective health and safety programs that benefit workers/patients, their families, others supported by health and safety activities, managers, and members of the health and safety organization.
Management-personnel; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Decision-making; Training; Education; Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Health-standards; Standards; Quality-standards; Safety-monitoring; Behavior; Group-behavior; Workers; Health-programs; Safety-programs; Psychological-factors
Effective management of health and safety programs: a practical guide, 3rd edition
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division