The Hierarchy of Safety Needs, Part 7

The final phase of the needs based process is when the social recognition needs of the team is met. The team becomes almost self-sufficient. They are able to problem solve on their own and find even more creative ways to assure the safety of the site. The teams in this phase are encouraged to take over entire safety based program from writing the policy to performing the training. The team is driving and self-sustaining the gains. The management’s job is to clear and roadblocks and to help assess the progress. The progress is sustained through assuring that the previous behavioral needs are met. As demonstrated earlier when a lower segment of the pyramid starts to erode, the behaviors will revert to attempt to fill the more fundamental and basic need. This process builds to a true system of continuous improvement in the safety system. The team is finding ways on its own to seek out and correct issues before they happen. The gains that the safety teams have made are well sustained and ingrained in the culture. There becomes a total sense of ownership in safety. This is a tough phase as it is about letting go of the programs and truly empowering the team to make safety about the team and culture. It is critical during this phase, that the lower needs are reviewed regularly to assure that they are being met. It gains will not be sustained if: The business itself cannot be sustained, the safety items fail to get fixed, or the teams are not given time and resources to do a proper job. Gained this level of the a team based safety approach is about investing the team and investing in the individuals. This is truly a phase where break-through behavioral growth is over, and the focus in more on continuous improvement and total system sustainment. The goal is to not assume that the journey is over. The journey is always continuing. The focus will shift to auditing the process and looking for ways that improvements can be created. It is the process that has to maintained. The process drives the strong results.

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