We get it. Safety isn’t sexy.
While safety technology saves hundreds of lives every year, it doesn’t parade around in a spandex suit and cape. Safety is more subtle in its approach to saving lives. Its approach is preventative: Keep people safe by alerting workers of dangerous situations. Superheroes are a bit more reckless about saving lives. They allow people to walk right into a dangerous situation just to heighten the dramatic effect of the last-minute save. Safety technology may not wear a cape but it is far more effective at saving lives than any superhero.
You’ve concluded that adding collision avoidance safety technology to your fleet is the right thing to do. But, you need to get approval from upper management. You’ve got to make them see safety as a superhero. Unfortunately, some companies do not realize that the cost of ignoring can be significantly more than the cost of investing in additional safety measures. And you may find it hard to find the right pitch to company executives.
Here are five tactics to use when pitching safety technology to your boss.
- Illustrate the problem. There are reasons why you’ve decided that collision avoidance safety technology should be installed on your fleet. Let your boss know those reasons. Find a specific story to tell that illustrates why additional safety measures are warranted.
“Kathy, we’ve got a safety problem with our wheel loaders. Last week, Jim almost got run over while one of them was backing up. He didn’t hear the back-up alarm over all the construction noise and we all know the mirrors on the loaders don’t provide the needed blind spot visibility. I’m really worried about what could have happened if Jim hadn’t jumped out of the way at the last second.”
- Identify your solution. Be very clear about what you think the best solution is. Tell your boss about the current safety measures that are in place and why you believe they are insufficient. This will ensure that your boss knows that you have done your homework on the issue.
“I think that up until now we’ve done a good job ensuring the safety of our employees. Implementing mandatory driver safety training and having weekly toolbox/safety meetings have kept safety top-of-mind. But, now that our operations have grown quite a bit, I really think that it’s time to consider a more robust collision avoidance solution. Especially for our wheel loaders. I’d like to contact a few companies I’ve been researching to get some quotes.”
- Describe the implications. Your boss needs to know how your solution is going to make the company better. Give specific examples of how collision avoidance technology is going to have a positive effect on company operations.
“If we install collision avoidance technology on our fleet, we can make operations safer and stay ahead of safety regulations. The initial investment in this venture is minimal when compared to the potential costs associated with lost productivity, insurance increases, and workers comp. claims that come with an incident.”
- Talk about the benefits. Many companies are leery of the additional costs involved in expanding their existing safety initiatives. This can be because they fail to see the benefits of an investment in safety technology or believe they can’t afford the investment itself. Companies need to know that they will see a return on their investment. Your discussion of benefits should include a discussion of ROI.
“The average cost of a vehicle-involved accident is over $24,000. And that’s if there are no bodily injuries reported. We generally average three such injuries per year. We’ll see a return on our investment within the first year. The cost-savings alone makes collision avoidance technology an attractive investment.”
- Be accountable for the outcome. By accepting the responsibility for the outcome of your proposed solution you are showing management that you are confident about the success of the project. Work with management to develop a plan for how to move your project forward.
“I’m committed to this project and I accept responsibility for the outcome. I’d like speak to our fleet manager to get her ideas on how many vehicles and machines we would need to install this system on and then I’ll get in touch with accounting and work on any budgetary concerns. After I get those things figured out I’d appreciate your help as an advocate to run this up the ladder.”
Following these steps will help you communicate the importance of safety as an investment to your boss. Hopefully, both you and safety will be seen as the superheroes.