Regardless of your job title or the role you play at work, you influence the other individuals around you. We all have an influence on each other, whether we recognize it or want to admit it, it is true. When it comes to work and work-place safety, your actions, words, and attitude can go a long way in either helping or hurting the safety culture.

The Influence of Coworkers

Think about how much time we spend every week with our coworkers; for some individuals it exceeds the time spent with family. We have all experienced the power a single coworker can have over an entire group. The same can be said about the effect supervisors can have over the workers they lead. We all have either a positive or
negative effect on those individuals around us in every facet of what we deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Influence Over Workplace Safety

A major facet or focus point in the workplace at many companies is safety. A coworker can have a positive effect on how we feel in general, but the same person can have a negative effect on safety in your workplace. Our attitudes, words, and actions towards workplace safety communicate a message to others and will influence them regarding their outlook on safety. This influence can eventually affect not only others’ attitudes, but also the actions those individuals around us choose or do not choose to take. When negative influences compound, it creates a weak safety culture. This impedes others from being able to work safely, and also can lead to injuries occurring on the job.

Be a Positive Influence

We do not always have the power to make the rules or influence policies put into place, however, we have the power to choose how we react to any changes. If you choose to have a positive attitude towards new changes, even if you do not agree with them, those around you will be more likely to follow suit. When negative attitudes, words, actions, etc. are allowed to make their way into the workplace regarding safety it can be a slippery slope. Once the general view of safety is negative it is very hard to get everyone to want to work safely so that everyone goes home to their families at the end of the shift.