Identifying Workplace Safety and Health Leaders

Being National Safe Work Month, Trainwest will this month dedicate its blog posts to the topic of workplace safety and health.

Having good workplace safety leaders is one of the most important factors required in order to establish a safe workplace environment and maintain a healthy workplace culture. Finding suitable leaders who fit this role can at times be hard, and therefore it is vital that those responsible for recruiting leaders consider the following when making their recruitment choices.

Start With Basic Qualities

Natural leadership qualities can be observed within the workforce, and are a good gauge of whether or not an employee has what it takes to become a leader. Employees who understand that respect is earnt, who go the extra step to add quality to their work and who help other employees are those who will often prosper as leaders in the future. Those who exhibit these qualities also often possess an awareness of the importance of safety in the workplace and if properly trained can develop into reliable leaders who in turn are very aware and cautious in regards to safety and health. Consistently selecting workplace leaders who display these traits will be of great benefit to the health and safety culture of the workplace.

Ask, Don’t Tell

Upon identification of a potential leader candidate, ensure that they are asked whether or not they are interested in the prospect of a role with increased responsibility. Recruiters often make the mistake of telling employees that they are being promoted to a higher role, without them actually wanting the position. Unwilling candidates often accept positions out of fear of being fired or cast aside if they refuse the opportunity. This results in leaders who don’t identify all the strengths and weaknesses of the workplace and therefore a limited level of health and safety awareness is all that can be achieved in the workplace.


Many make the mistake of promoting individuals to leadership roles and then putting them through lengthy and somewhat unengaging training programs. It must be ensured that those who are promoted are given engaging training programs which not only provide them with the relevant content but also keep them interested throughout their training. This can be achieved through mentoring. Mentors often possess knowledge that cannot be taught through training booklets/tests, this is especially relevant in regards to work safety and health. This means again that the awareness of workplace health and safety can again be improved to benefit the business.

The Promotion Doesn’t End with the Title

After an employee has been promoted and sufficiently trained, their development shouldn’t be stopped there. It should be ensured that they are continuously monitored and keep learning over time. This enables them to further develop their skills to improve and benefit their workplace. This is again especially relevant in regards to workplace safety and health, as the workplace is continuously changing and thus the skills in relation to work safety and health need to be regularly developed.

Trainwest offers a Safety & Health Representative course that can be incorporated into the training of new workplace leaders to enhance their knowledge of workplace safety and health. Enquire today in regards to how the course can benefit the health and safety culture of any business!