If you are a safety professional, you probably realize the significant time, money, and resources that organizations invest in creating an injury-free workplace. We work with companies of all sizes, and nearly everyone tells us “Safety is our number one priority.” Yet when I ask them whether their company’s current hiring process specifically screens job candidates for safety risk, I often hear “no” or get blank stares.
So why do organizations invest so much effort into creating a safe workplace and then turn around and hire a job applicant who is a high safety risk, is unlikely to follow safety policies, and is likely to be injured (or injure a co-worker) soon after being hired? Why would an organization develop its leaders to create a strong safety culture, only to hire or promote a supervisor who will probably undermine safety and put his/her team at risk of injury just to meet productivity goals? It doesn’t make sense, yet many organizations do just that.