May 15, 2013 13:09 ET

Paper: Leadership Skills, Safety Competencies Critical to Supervisor Success in Workplace Safety

OJAI, CA--(Marketwired - May 15, 2013) -  Frontline supervisors and managers are essential to workplace safety but many companies struggle to involve them in the right way, say experts at global safety firm BST ( The firm has released a new white paper that describes why frontline leaders are so often underused in safety and offers recommendations for better equipping this level to protect employees.

"Supervisors are the closest level of management to the work being done, yet there is little clarity around what safety functions they should be performing," says BST president Scott Stricoff. Many organizations seek to fill this gap with training, but according to Stricoff, this doesn't address the real issue: many frontline leaders are too overloaded with demands to apply training effectively.

Drawing on consulting work with more than 3,200 sites, the firm instead proposes an approach that integrates leadership development with core safety activities. BST vice president Michael Hajaistron says that the goal is to develop great safety leaders, not add more to an already full plate. "When you tie safety leadership to activities supervisors are already doing every day, you make their jobs simpler while also ensuring that the organization's safety goals are being achieved."

The paper identifies five critical safety activities, (including safety contacts, job safety briefs, and physical hazard identification and mitigation) as well as essential leadership practices (including, feedback, collaboration, communication, and action orientation). The full white paper is available for download at BST's website:

About BST

BST, a DEKRA company, is a global safety consulting and solutions firm headquartered in Ojai, California. With staff on every continent, BST has helped over 3,200 client sites in 71 countries improve safety performance. BST's work encompasses a range of industries, including mining, petroleum, chemical, metals, paper, food, utilities, railroads, healthcare, and government.

The following files are available for download:

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