The CraneWerks install crew participating in operator training for Fork Truck, MEWP (mobile aerial work platforms) Carry Deck Crane, and Telehandler training.

Maintaining Safety Engagement: Innovative Initiatives


In safety leadership, the challenge of maintaining employees’ safety engagement in safety initiatives is a perpetual quest. Over time, even the most dedicated employees can lose interest in safety protocols, making it crucial to find innovative ways to rekindle their enthusiasm. One approach that has proven remarkably effective is creating large-scale events that not only draw in the audience but also build trust and excitement, transforming safety from a mundane topic into a viral sensation. 

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Think of the Indy 500

Monster Jam, Fight Night, or Strongman – Just as these events generate organic excitement and buzz, so too can we ignite a similar fervor around safety within our organizations. It’s no secret that safety discussions can sometimes feel dry or uninspiring, yet it’s critical that we prioritize them.

Mary Baird’s Approach to Safety Engagement

Mary Baird, a senior scientist in Amarillo, Texas, and a 2018 Rising Star of Safety, shares her updated approach to improve safety engagement. Recognizing the challenge of engaging employees in behavior-based safety (BBS) observations, she introduced a unique concept: the Lip Sync Challenge. Inspired by Jimmy Fallon’s entertaining lip sync battles, Mary’s idea injected a new level of energy and participation into safety initiatives. 

Management Participation

For every BBS observation, employees cast a ballot for their manager. The top managers faced off in lip sync duels, donning costumes and performing iconic songs. Initially met with skepticism, Mary’s demonstration of commitment and creativity set the stage for unprecedented participation. Managers transformed into Elvis, Tina Turner, Prince, and more, captivating their teams and fostering a culture of active safety engagement. 

The Results

The results were striking. Participation in BBS programs and safety meetings surged, leading to a tangible reduction in injuries. By infusing safety meetings with lively, topical events, Mary’s team kept the energy high and the discussions relevant. The buzz created around these events spilled over into everyday conversations, with employees eagerly anticipating each safety meeting. 

A Shared Commitment and Source of Pride

This experience underscores the power of generating excitement around safety. When ideas are fresh, engaging, and integrated into the fabric of daily work life, safety engagement becomes more than a task—it becomes a shared commitment and a source of pride. Harnessing the team’s enthusiasm and channeling it into safety initiatives ensures ongoing success and a safer workplace for all. 

Creating a Culture of Safety Engagement

Creating a culture of safety engagement requires creativity, dedication, and a willingness to think outside the box. By leveraging the excitement of large-scale events and infusing them into safety practices, we can transform safety from a routine obligation into a vibrant and integral part of our organizational culture. 

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