Lessons from a Life in Safety: #3

Lessons from a Life in Safety: #3

Know-It-All-Syndrome

Now this one is only fun if you say it out loud, and in your most whiney, annoying voice, so go ahead and say it with me now . . . Nana nana boo-boo I know more than you do!!

Remember that person in high school or college who was always editorializing on what they knew, or how much more they knew than you?

You can picture them right now can’t you? Maybe you even work with one. Annoying, right?

Know-it-alls do not become trusted advisors.

Here are things I know for sure:

As you go about your work in this field, remember to talk with the people your work affects. You never know what nugget you’ll turn up from employees and colleagues who have been doing the same jobs for years, all while thinking of better ways to accomplish tasks. Place yourself in the workforce, in the trenches, and maintain visibility and action amongst the employees you are tasked with protecting.

It is important for your credibility that those employees see you and that you see them in their working environments. Establishing credibility and earning trust may be hard for new environmental health and safety professionals for several reasons…

Seek out leaders in the workforce and work to make them your ally. Ask for feedback, fight to fix or correct the hazards they identify, seek them out as an advisory committee, etc.

This should be an ‘always on’ daily focus for you.

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