Sports Lessons For EHS Professionals

Eric Glass

Quite a few articles compare safety and health professionals to coaches, and many occupational safety and health programs use sports themes to build teamwork, tap the power of competition and raise awareness of performance areas and metrics. Are these programs missing the mark?

The downside of sports analogies for occupational safety and health (OHS) programs is that they sometimes miss the big picture. If we focus exclusively on coaching theories, our annual “Health and Wellness MVP” award or how our department can win the “Super Bowl of Safety,” we may forget that health and safety performance ultimately depends on and benefits the entire organization, not just a few spotlighted individuals.

The same is true in professional sports. Plenty of smart coaches and star players never win a championship, while great organizations achieve excellence year after year regardless of personnel and other challenges. So let’s take the sports-OHS analogy to the next level and explore how the organizational components that drive great sports franchises parallel key areas separating OHS champions from the rest of the pack. Read the rest of this article on EHS Today.