SELLING SAFETY. What are you Selling and Why?

“It’s not about selling an idea , it’s about creating value for the workforce”

Denis Baker, CSP

As I continue my series on selling safety, I think it’s essential that we know what we are selling and why. Think about that? As safety professionals, what are you selling to your leaders and employees, and why are you selling it? Although it can be worded in many ways, I think every safety professional has an answer to that question. I feel confident each response would generate lively discussions and open our minds to multiple forms of thinking and approaches to achieving a safe workplace and culture. I’m sure you are asking yourself, what is Denis’ answer to these questions? Well, as the writer, I’m not going to answer that question………….. JK. Here is my simple answer;

I am selling the idea and opportunity to lead to support the program and activities that allow each person, group or team to make the right decisions and exhibit the right behaviors, all the time, every time to go home at the I end of the day, every day!

Why am I selling that? Because I have a strong passion for people. In fact, my passion goes beyond a job or career, but rather for the love of the individual and family.

Denis Baker, CSP

Let me ask you another question. What do you want to achieve in your career? We all have personal goals and achievements we want to meet. If not, that is the first thing you need to do to direct your career path. My biggest disappointment in safety professionals is the focus on lagging indicators. You know; TRIR, recordable, lost times and compliance issues. Many of us fall into the “company” trap that this is what we want to concentrate and focus on.


Lagging indicators focus on “performance”; performance of the site, location, or organization. They do nothing to develop a sustainable safety culture. Instead, they encourage aggressive case management and even the comprising of ethics. Don’t focus on “0”, but rather focus on people. Focus on selling programs and activities that instill safe behaviors and change at-risk behaviors. That creates sustainable cultures!

If you are new to the profession, I’m glad you are reading this. You have the opportunity to move through your career, selling what is right. Not, selling what everybody else does, just because they say that is the way to do it. If you are an experienced professional, then I am super excited that you are reading this and hope you are open to thinking differently.

Don’t get me wrong, if you are just starting out, selling safety will take a lot of practice, effort, and time. Although I think you may surprise yourself. Either way, that’s OK. The fact that you stepped up and read this blog shows you are ready to get things rolling to a higher level. You responded to the challenge and the call to action, so you know you are prepared to take action at some level. Work with that. You may be further away from effectively selling safety than others, but do not let that be an excuse. Take the opportunity to watch, listen, and mentally evaluate the good and bad of others.

Even if you are brand new to the safety profession, if you apply the lessons (I’ll be sharing with you) and work hard at it, you can be effectively selling safety to your leadership and employees in no time at all.

So, when you are thinking about the “what” and “why” of selling safety, I want you to understand.

it’s less about the “what” than it is about the “WHY.”

You must make the “why” very clear so you can approach your sell from a healthy, passionate perspective. Your confidence in what you believe must be active, and you must be able to clearly and effectively communicate what you think and why.

Having the “why” down will move you towards building momentum. This begins and ends with MOTION. It’s the Law of the Big Mo. Nothing builds momentum, like taking action.

If you’re looking for motivation, take action first. Why do people buy-into? People buy-into what you believe when you convince them what you are wanting to accomplish adds value. You are meeting their needs. Some might ask, “Then don’t I just need to do what every other company does?”


Every company, every location, and every department is unique. You must understand what people value and modify the “what” and “why” to meet their needs and expectations.

Selling safety is not easy. But it is instrumental in establishing a sustainable, influential safety culture.

My next article will focus on networking and how to respond when the inevitable question of “what do you do?” comes up.

I strongly encourage you to reflect on the “what” and “why” of selling safety and ensure you are passionate about adding value to others.

Denis is an experienced Safety Professional with multi-industry experience. He is also an Executive Director at the John Maxwell Group, a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behavior Consultant. He is a passionate person of influence committed to teaching and communicating practical principles and relevant influencing techniques to change employee behaviors and ultimately reduce and eliminate injuries.  His unique passionate and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a passionate desire to become an effective leader.  

You can contact Denis at for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture change, DISC Behavioral consulting or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.

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