Friday, June 15, 2007

The Ethics of Safety

Building an organization on an ethical safety program ...

"In the last Leadership column, we discussed the motivations for leaders to improve safety – human compassion, building a performance platform and contributing to profitability. Among these, we have seen that the predominant motive driving safety leaders is a deep sense that it is the right thing to do.

This motive poses a noteworthy question: What role does safety play in helping leaders meet the demands placed on them by legislation, regulation, shareholders and the public at large for greater responsibility in, and oversight of, their organizations? It is our view that safety offers a natural starting point for building an ethical organization, once you acknowledge the principles that underlie ethical leadership and culture.

Safety and Ethics

Derived from the Greek work ethikos (“of or for morals”), ethics is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of values or morality. The ancient philosophers who pioneered the study of ethics were largely concerned with the functioning of society as a whole and the individual’s role in it.

Today, ethics also relates to corporate social responsibility. What is it that we owe our employees, customers, shareholders and the community at large, and how does our fulfillment of these obligations ensure our long-term sustainability as a company?

Many leaders have come to see safety as the starting point for answering these questions. To them, providing a safe workplace lays the foundation for organizational excellence and integrity in strategic, financial and operational performance."    (Continued via Occupational Hazards)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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