Safety Leadership – How to be a safety champion

Element number 2 of the Safety Leadership Framework is Champion Safety Focus. This element is about having a close understanding of yours and your workmates safety needs, organisational aspirations and keeping them front of mind.

It begins with your efforts keeping safety on everyones radar through discussion at as many engagement opportunities (meetings, safety toolboxes, email signatures, lunch time learning experiences, etc) as you can. It can then move to one on one engagements with your leaders.

This means engaging in a meaningful and mutually beneficial way and not a toxic spray at the boss because he hasn’t approved one of your pet safety peeves! Remember, being a safety champion is about bringing and keeping safety front of mind, which provides the platform for engagement and discussion. Not beating up the bosses. No-one wins there!

A simple way to start, is to ask for a safety share or safety moment at the beginning of any of the meetings you attend. Be prepared with one of your own safety shares as most people are reluctant to speak up. A key attribute of a good safety moment is that is it relevant and meaningful to the group. This tends to imply discussing situations from your workplace which are commonly known. Linking the safety moment with your organisations aspirations gives the story relevance and importantly demonstrates to all, that you are championing safety.

To be effective here, make sure you have at least 5-8 safety moments ready to go and keep driving the discussion until others get involved. You want to lead but don’t try to own it. Help others to drive when they become comfortable to do so. Your goal here is to help others engage and to drive the discussions.

So, to Champion Safety Focus means to keep safety front of mind for you, your work group and leadership. Engaging positively and helping others is your role. Start small and work up!

Last word: Championing a cause can by hard and you will be challenged. Maintain the focus and push the cause because they will come around.


For real leadership motivation take a look at one of my most earliest exposures to TED Talks.

To get you start on a couple of safety moments if you are stuck, take a look at this site …..


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