Lessons from a Former Front-Line Supervisor
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To be successful, we need to understand the basic principles of selling and leadership, and how those aspects apply to safety. Supervisors have the greatest influence on employee behavior and are often held accountable for safety performance. Selling safety to upper management is different; it’s very different than selling safety to the front-line employee. Selling Safety: Lessons from a Former Front-Line Supervisor explains the three key characteristics of a successful leader; Vision, Knowledge and Heart. Patrick Karol relates these core characteristics to safety leadership and provides actions that can be used today. He explains the lessons learned based on his experiences and the teachings of current leaders inside and outside the safety field.
Table of Contents
Introduction. 1. The First Pivotal Moment: I Tolerated Safety 2. Soapbox Safety 3. The Second Pivotal Moment: Safety Becomes Personal to Me 4. The Third Pivotal Moment: I Had to Make Safety Personal to Others 5. Why Sell Safety? 6. Finding Your Vision 7. Communicating Your Vision 8. Tell the Story 9. Know What They Need Most 10. Praise 11. Safety is a Positive 12. Who Are Your Allies? 13. Make Them Feel Something 14. It’s Not About the Numbers 15. Have a “Make Safety Personal” Conversation Conclusion. – Hurdles, Encouragement and My Vision
Patrick J. Karol is the President of Karol Safety Consulting, LLC and holds a BBA from Georgia State University. Pat holds certifications as a Safety Management Specialist, Associate in Risk Management and is a Certified Safety Professional
Pat’s work in the safety field began as a front-line supervisor with safety as a collateral duty, and now involves advising senior leaders on strategies to reduce risk. His experience includes over 20 years in the corporate safety departments of two Fortune 200 companies and the Federal government. Pat currently works as an independent safety and health consultant specializing in strategic safety planning and motivational speaking.
Pat’s professional safety career includes:
• Sr Director of Safety with EEC Environmental.
• Safety Manager at ARAMARK Corporation Safety & Risk Control Department. Responsibilities include working with senior leadership to develop strategies and tactics to reduce risk of injury, environmental exposure and food borne illnesses.
• Safety and Health contractor to the Transportation Security Administration where he managed a team who were responsible for compliance at all US airports in the southeast region.
• Safety Manager at Delta Air Lines Corporate Safety Department. Responsibilities include investigation of serious accidents, development of procedures and training, identification of trends and development of mitigation strategies, and assisting with OSHA VPP applications.
Pat is a successful speaker and has spoken on safety and health at numerous regional and national conferences. He spoke most recently at Safety 2019, AIHce 2019, the Georgia Chapter of ASSP Professional Development Conference 2018 and the Georgia SHE Conference 2018.
Pat is a past President of the American Society Safety Professionals (ASSP) Philadelphia chapter and was honored to receive the Gold Level award for 2014/15. He is currently the Area Director for the ASSP Keystone (Pennsylvania) Area for 2017-2021.
"Pat does a great job capturing the key elements of safety – that genuine care and concern for the well-being of others. He is extremely effective articulating how he makes safety personal, which comes alive in his book the same way he communicates with live audiences. A very genuine, heartfelt message that really resonates with leaders and front-line workers. Pat’s message has had a great impact on our organization – a definite must read!"
—David DiBoyan, CIH, CSP, VP, EHS, Hexcel Corporation
"Pat Karol provides relatable real-world operational experience on how policy, procedure, and equipment alone doesn’t make for a solid safety culture. Pat’s message resounded with our organization’s front-line leaders and helped them to understand that true change comes from knowing what is important to their associates, and how that knowledge helps drive safe behavior."
—Jason Herr, Vice President of Safety
"If you are looking for a good, easy to read safety management book, I recommend Selling Safety- Lessons from a Former Front-Line Supervisor. One of my favorites quotes- ‘Some people see safety as compliance, audits, inspections... Safety is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those front-line supervisors we serve and to show leaders how safety can contribute to the business."
—Carol Henson, EHS Systems and Compliance Manager at Cox Automotive, Inc.
"My #OSH colleague Patrick J. Karol CSP ARM SMS CIT has written a great book that I encourage you to add to your library. "Selling Safety: Lessons Learned from a Former Front-Line Supervisor" is the definition of a real-world story of Pat's journey from an hourly worker in a glass bottle factory to a senior safety manager to a consultant. Pat describes his path from the early mistakes he made and learned from to eventually understanding how to sell safety to those who are at the sharp end of the spear, as we say these days.
His pragmatic style will resonate with those of you who have a passion to be an advocate for workers, by helping them to find the personal connection that brings them on board. And if you ever get the chance to see Pat speak at a conference or listen to him in a Webinar, take advantage."
––Pam Walaski, CSP, Sr Program Director - Specialty Technical Consultants
Pat Karol's book is an invaluable resource for safety professionals. Pat inspires outstanding safety practices and behavior from the front-line worker to the upper tiers of safety management, This well-written book helps the reader develop a deeper understanding of safety practices by providing personal real-life work-place scenarios of safety issues. It not only informs the reader of best safety practices but shows the reader how to incorporate this knowledge into the workplace. This book is a must-read for safety professionals.
–– Steven Proser, President- Steven Malcolm Proser Consulting, LLC