Making Safety an Official Part of Your Job-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Making Safety an Official Part of Your Job

Quite a large number of you reading this newsletter have obligations to take some sort of safety training as part of your work, and I hope that you all are up-to-date in them.   How many of you, though, have safety compliance written into your official job descriptions?  And how many of you have safety activities included as a part of your performance review process?  My guess is not a lot.  (Really, if you do, please let me know:  markb2@andrew.cmu.edu.

My experience in industry informs me that in the non-academic world of business and industry, these things are indeed important in hiring and advancement.

We certainly all want to be safe in our work and study here.  And we certainly should realize that the person most responsible for staying safe is ourselves.   Why not make it official?   In our PDFs let's add the small percentage of time we should devote to attending training and holding internal safety meetings as a regular part of our job.  Let's add "Performs work in a safe manner" and "is up-to-date in all safety training" as evaluation criteria.  Or better yet, "Sets an example of safe work practices to department and co-workers."

This is especially important to those of us who interface with our students-we should not only provide the training to do their work safely, but to also set an example for them in our own day-to-day practice.   And if we do not let students know of the often-more-rigorous safety environment they will find when they enter the workplace, we are certainly not serving them well.