Stepping Outside the Box to Build a Safety Culture


Stepping Outside the Box to Build a Safety Culture

How caring, mindfulness, and listening are crucial parts of keeping your workers safe.
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How caring, mindfulness, and listening are crucial parts of keeping your workers safe.

By Cassandra Dillon, MS, CESCO, COSS

When it comes to safety culture, there is nothing more inspiring to an individual than knowing that their employer cares about them. Most employers show care through empowerment. If this is a new concept to you, then I want to encourage you as employers and managers to actively show workers that You Care. There has been a lot of research as well as articles and books written on the power of caring. To date the most prolific representation of actively caring for people is none other than my mentor Dr. Scott Geller. His AC4P™ (Actively Caring for People) is a movement all by itself. Dr. Geller’s life’s work focuses on research-based tools in regard to caring that benefits individuals, companies and communities.

Mindfulness for Safety

When I think of the fundamental principles of caring and listening, I instantly think of Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of focusing on the present and experiencing life as it unfolds moment by moment. To listen to someone fully means that I am totally focused on what they have to say. In today’s society, the art of total engagement is a simple gift that we can give one another. However, as a people, we are so busy being busy that we miss life’s silent whispers.

This is my favorite quote by Maya Angelou. It directly correlates to caring and listening. Workers tell us all the time, either directly or indirectly, the things that are needed for them to do their jobs successfully. But do we take the time to really listen to them? Are we truly mindful of our present work conditions and the capabilities of our workforce?

Are You Listening to Workers’ Concerns?

Some time ago, I heard a statistic that stated that even though the U.S. is one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world, more people are alone and suffer in silence than ever before. Also, please note that the sense of loneliness has nothing to do with the physical presence of people. What I have found over the course of my lifetime is that people tell you exactly what they need from you. The only problem is – Do we take the time to LISTEN to the words that are coming out of their mouths?

Building Relationships

Listening generously gives someone the gift that says I am here for you unselfishly to give you the gift of presence. Caring is an empowerment tool that we give each other to live our best life unapologetically, authentically and with dignity. Choose today to listen generously to your workers to help them reach their full potential. Give freely to others what may have not been given to you. However, know that whatever goes around, will surely come back around to you.

Stories from AC4P™ |
Safety at Eastman
Caring in the Workplace

Cassandra Dillon

About the Author: Cassandra Dillon is a Senior Level Regulatory Compliance professional with expertise in the fields of industrial engineering, industrial hygiene, risk management, insurance, emergency planning, environmental, health and occupational safety. Her industrial specialization consists of academia, transportation/logistics, warehousing/distribution, manufacturing, and oil and gas. Follow Cassandra on Facebook or LinkedIn.