Three Ways to Sink Your EHS Proposal

Every fiscal year, there are EHS professionals outside of conference rooms shaking their heads. At the annual budget meeting, their safety initiative proposal failed to make the cut, again!

You can hear them now. “My managers don’t care about safety” or “They talk a good game, but when it counts, no one in this company wants safety.”

What went wrong?

Here are three ways to sink your EHS proposal.

1. “It’s required by law…we have to!”

Your company doesn’t exist to comply. It exists to produce value to stakeholders. Think that’s cynical? Try motivating someone in your family by telling them to comply with the law. Watch your spouse’s speedometer and give him/her constant feedback. Watch their reaction.

2. “If this hazard isn’t corrected, someone, somewhere, one day, if the timing is right and the failsafe fails, might lose an arm!”

You must quantify hazards. Specifically. Every time. And this technique won’t work when the company is laying off 2,500 people.

3. “For every $1 spent on safety, we get nearly $6 in return”

Seriously? You tested this ratio? Prove it using your company’s numbers. Because if you can’t, you just got cut. And you reassured everyone in operations that EHS really is just a cost and never a value.

Do the above lines work sometimes? Yes. And they all have some validity. But EHS must show value. Every time.

(Over the next two weeks, I’ll share ways to show this value as a part of a multi-part post.)


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