Refocusing on safety and profitability in 2016

January 25, 2016 By    

As we wander into this new year of global warming concerns, international unrest and the presidential election circus, it’s important that we stay focused on values and what’s important in life. Our safety and profitability depend on it.

Worry leads the list of emotions for most of us. It is a destructive emotion that dulls our senses, throws up distractions and changes our focus. We can worry ourselves to death about all sorts of things that never happen. While we are distracted by worry, purposeful goals of accident prevention and employee encouragement can be ignored.

The best antidote for worry is to stay active, stay involved, stay focused, stay challenged and stay in the game of achieving profitable results. The best way to stay involved and connected with employees is directly related to dedicated safety leadership. Through leadership, we can grow and prosper. Without leadership, no news becomes good news. We stop inspecting what we expect, leaving our safety results to chance and circumstance. In short, we lose sight of what’s important.

Do you remember when you first started working and all of that idealism about hard work and fairness was a real concept to you? Who was a positive mentor? On the other hand, whom did you detest for apparent situational ethics and negative leadership qualities? Which of those people have you become? Who do you need to be to succeed?

Integrity is a critical value when it comes to propane safety. Successful managers know that doing the right thing is never the wrong thing. Lack of integrity can cloud judgment and allow situations to become complicated. Safety integrity doesn’t have to be complicated. If you follow training and comply with codes that govern the handling and distribution of hazardous material, you stay on a clear path to accident prevention and profitable results.

Sometimes, when we turn internally, it is a reflection of selfishness. Such emotions can cause a loss of self-respect and a guarded position when it comes to accomplishing safety goals. Self-respect motivates us to be our best and, in turn, allows leaders to motivate others to accomplish common goals. A wise counselor once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

It has been said that encouragement is oxygen for the soul. Employees appreciate recognition and positive feedback. It energizes them to tackle the tasks at hand with a positive attitude.

Fear can be a debilitating emotion that drives all kinds of unfounded concern and worry. A tough situation can quickly become a bad situation when we act out of fear. That’s why it’s important to stay focused on training designed to support safe results, contain tough situations and provide safety solutions. The confidence that comes from remembering what is important will defeat those debilitating fears.

Being tired is just a sign of frustration with choices, options and obligations. Apathy and half-heartedness can seep into even the best of organizations and usually are founding factors in an avoidable accident. That’s why leaders must be enthusiastic about business challenges in the propane industry. The safety glass should always be filled with a continuous flow of water in the form of realistic expectations showered with enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is one disease we all should catch and pass on at every opportunity because, in fact, enthusiasm creates opportunity. A positive attitude can be a huge requisite for igniting the spark that can inspire successful results.

Rather than be overwhelmed by choices and circumstance in the New Year, I recommend that you start by simply remembering what’s important in life and safety. Accident prevention and profitable growth are credible goals that require high standards. List the qualities that underscore your values and keep those worthy thoughts in focus throughout the year.

It’s the safety way.


Jay Johnston has 42 years of experience as an insurance executive, safety management consultant and inspirational safety speaker in the propane industry. Jay is the publisher of The Safety Leader newsletter and author of the book “The Practice of Safety.” He can be reached at or 612-802-0663.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Current Issue

Comments are currently closed.