Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Regarding Enforcement

Nobody likes being told they have no choice but to follow a rule, and nobody likes getting in trouble for not following the rules. Truth is, when it comes to enforcing the rules, most leaders don’t enjoy making people follow the rules. 

So, what if we just hit the easy button, making following the safety rules an option instead of a requirement?

Would that make life more pleasant? Better? Safer?

If you knew there wouldn’t be any consequences, what rules would you stop following? What rules would you still follow?

Darn Good Questions, aren’t they? 


If you say, “I’ll still follow the rules that keep me from getting seriously hurt” how many safety rules to you think were NOT written because someone got seriously hurt?

Hard to think of a single one.

Consider this: just about every safety rule is written in somebody’s blood. Just not necessarily yours.

If you say, “When I choose not to follow the rule, I’ll still be very careful so I won’t get hurt.”

That’s you. But what about those working around you?

Consider this: Being careful yourself is no guarantee you won’t be hurt by someone else who isn’t following the rule and isn’t being careful. 


The truth about following the rules is that it is an essential part of going home alive and well at the end of the day.

And if those rules aren’t enforced, a lot of us would not go home alive and well. 

So, maybe enforcement isn’t such a bad thing. Keep that thought in mind the next time you see the rules being enforced.

Paul Balmert
October 2021

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