Questioning your Boss’ Judgment

Lessons LearnedIntroduction: The Lesson Learned.

I am a growing safety professional. A part of this growth is recognizing when I have made a mistake and understanding its implications and consequences. Growth also includes the ability to learn from, and apply a lessons learned so that you may become a better professional.

I must always make the best decisions for my company in terms of safety and compliance, even if that means speaking up and against my supervisors wishes. Your supervisor will occasionally be wrong. S/He may make a decision which is not of the best interest for your company in terms of safety and compliance. In these situations, it is critically important for your integrity as a safety professional shine through. You must explicitly express your position to the supervisor and define the reasons for your beliefs.

How did this Happen?

Until this point, I never thought I would be placed into a position to speak out against my boss. Due to my own inexperience, I was uncomfortable questioning my boss. I assumed that because they are in the position of authority and have more experience, I should not question their decisions. Even though I knew and understood the code I was neglecting, I let my respect for my boss and my desires to get along, get in the way of me actually doing my job of keeping the facility safe.

I was purposely placed in the above situation for the sake of testing my resolve. My boss told me they are not going to fully follow a specific code which states that nothing can be stored inside boiler rooms. The reasons stated was because there is no better place for the items (partially true), and they simply were not going to be moved. I agreed with my boss even though the code said otherwise.

I made my mistake agreeing with the plan, instead of focusing on what is best and safe for my company. I should have stepped up, opened my mouth and spoke out against disregarding the know safety issue. My lesson learned is that no matter what the situation or who in instructioning you, never disregard your dutys as a safety professional. I still have a long career ahead of me and I am sure there will be many more lessons to be learned.

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