Putting Safety Back in Recruitment

Michael Tooma writes:

People management is often not considered to be part of the safety management but rather a discrete separate albeit related discipline. Indeed, quite perversely, safety management is often regarded as a subset of people management. This traditional formulation is in urgent need of reconsideration. Far from being a subset of people management, effective safety management depends on effective people selection, training, performance assessment, mentoring and counseling.

Emphasis on the selection of appropriately qualified personnel eliminates many of the risks that would otherwise be encountered. This is well understood in relation to the selection of contractors but because of the segregation of human resources and safety roles, that emphasis can sometimes be lacking in relation to the recruitment of permanent or casual employees.

Psychological tests in recruitment are now commonplace as organizations compete to develop and maintain an organisational culture and ensure that people they recruit are a “good fit” within that defining culture. Within that context, it is surprising that more is not done in the area of assessing prospective candidates’ attitudes to safety as part of the recruitment process. A candidate with a positive attitude to safety can contribute greatly to a positive safety culture within the organization bringing enthusiasm, ideas and energy to engaging within the safety management policies and procedures.

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One Response

  1. I guess if we can design equipment to carry out a job safely, there must be potential to fit the ‘right’ person to the job too. A massive challenge for the medium businesses though…

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