Top 5 Challenges of Being a Safety Manager

Safety Managers

The Challenges of Being a Safety Manager

As the safety manager for your company, you have many difficulties you face daily. You balance the needs of the company, the needs of the worker, and the policies to limit litigation and regulatory fees. You are the protector in the workplace.

On top of that, it’s your job to keep up with the abundance of paperwork that is required to keep everything afloat. While the job is rewarding, it’s still difficult to face these challenges without real help.

While every person and every industry have unique challenges, there are some that affect anyone in charge of safety. So, what are the top 5 challenges you will face? More importantly, how do you deal with these challenges to make your job easier?

Perceptions of the Safety Manager Job

Sometimes new training or policy changes are needed to ensure everyone is protected and able to do their jobs. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to make others see the need for these changes. You will hit resistance from some people who don’t understand you are helping them.

Until you step into the shoes of the safety manager, there is no way to understand what the job entails. It’s easier for people to go on the defensive when required to make changes than to embrace those changes. Reluctance comes from a belief that you are making the job more difficult.

How do you face this challenge? To reduce friction, explain the reason for any changes. Let them feel involved in the process. If the people you are trying to protect understand protection is your motive, it is easier to reach out to them and get positive results.

Proactive Versus Reactive in the Workplace

Another big challenge you will face as a safety manager is getting people to change things before it becomes a problem. Part of your job is to look for weak areas in the safety protocol. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t always work when you’re in charge of keeping everyone safe.

When you mess with how someone has done something for 10, 15, or 20 years, it is easy to get their backs up. You know it’s all about reducing incidents and overall costs. They can take it as questioning their performance or abilities.

How do you face this challenge? This is another place where discussion is key. Make sure employees know the regulations faced and the dangers of not meeting those. Show them how changes will even make their lives easier in the long run.

Keeping Up with Safety Standards, and the Changes

To understand the proper training needed in the workplace, you must keep up with federal, state, and local safety standards for your industry. This includes any changes made to the regulations. With so many regulatory bodies out there, this can prove tricky.

Part of your job is to ensure that workplace standards and policies meet regulations from multiple sources, and that employees understand these standards. This proves tricky when it can be difficult for you to keep up with it yourself.

How do you face this challenge? The easiest way to deal with safety standard changes is to use tools to help you keep up with needed training changes. As the safety manager, you should get notifications of all changes coming through the different regulatory boards. Set up solutions that keep your team informed of these changes.

Paperwork, Lots of It

Safety regulations, training, and workplace incidents means plenty of paperwork for the safety manager. You keep up with incident reports. You also keep up with all required certification and compliance documentation for every employee.

Sometimes it may seem like you are drowning in a sea of paperwork. On top of this, you must make sure documentation is accessible when needed. Add to this the need to track new and updated certification needs, and this proves a serious challenge.

How do you face this challenge? The easiest way to deal with the paperwork challenge goes back to the training tools. Make sure you have solutions in place that can help you track documentation for individual employees without the need to search through files. Using tools like Infinit-I cloud-based solutions helps keep you in compliance and on top of the paperwork.

Money Versus Safety

Probably the biggest challenge you face is the question of money versus safety. As a safety manager, you don’t bring in new profits for the company. In fact, some of the needed changes require spending money to get into compliance or reduce risks.

Despite some of these changes saving money over time, such as reducing litigation costs, this puts you in the difficult position of arguing your case each time money is spent in the name of safety. You know it’s necessary. They know it cuts into profits.

How do you face this challenge? Dealing with the tug-of-war between money and safety is a two-step process. The first step is research to find the most cost-effective way to deal with needed changes. The second step is providing clear proof to the people in charge of making it happen that the changes are needed.

Finding Solutions to Meet Everyone’s Needs

The solutions to the challenges may sound simple, but we all know that’s not the case. Many of these solutions take time to get people on the same page. Others are easier to get started.

The top 5 challenges of being a safety manager is to get everyone on board and to implement solutions with verified cost and incident reductions over time. Infinit-I will provide you with the right training and integration tools, to prove you are the hero of safety.

How do you face the challenge? The first step is requesting a free demo of Infinit-I Workforce safety manager solutions.

Want more safety manager information? Check out that link and complete the form for a personal live demo of our how LMS can help your company achieve better CSA scores.

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