10 Reasons Why the Best-Managed Companies Don’t Focus on Compliance or Documentation

Beating the drum of compliance & documentation is common amongst many Safety Managers & Coordinators.

When hearing them speak with workers, I hear things like “You’re not documenting, we need to see the documentation.” They come by it honestly, because that’s how they are taught.
It’s a tangible way for safety peeps to measure their success.
However, here’s 10 reasons why the best-managed companies don’t focus on compliance and documentation:
  1. Compliance management does not mean risks are controlled. The best-managed companies understand that approximately 20% of the work they do gives rise to 80% of their credible risk. They focus on the 20% until it’s well controlled.
  2. Instead of focusing on every detail of compliance, they ensure their Critical Task Lists are developed and accurate. Resources are focused on ensuring Standard Operating Procedures are developed for Critical Tasks that promote job efficiency, quality, and safety.
  3. Paperwork does not identify and control hazards; coaching employees to perceive hazards and fully understand their impact to overall operations and building safety culture does. (Neuroscience Fact: Hazard perception is learned).
  4. Paperwork does not prevent incidents. Implementing management systems that make sense for the specific business, and it’s risks does.
  5. Documentation does not mean employees are trained. They understand that reading and signing off on a Safe Work Procedure is not training. (Neuroscience Fact: Reading, doing, and competency, are located in three completely different parts of the brain).
  6. Compliance and documentation is about meeting the needs of the “safety person”, not the needs of management, supervisors and employees.
  7. Employee buy-in requires connecting their head to their heart or ‘their big why’. Focusing on laws and paperwork only connects to their heads…and sometimes not even there!
  8. Forcing compliance naturally creates resistance. As per Newtons 3rd law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
  9. Compliance is a BY-PRODUCT of effectively identifying and managing the Company’s most credible risks.
  10. Documentation is a BY-PRODUCT of creating effective, repeatable, management systems that optimize company and employee performance.
Are you a business owner or manager where workplace safety is more WORK
than a key driver of your business performance?


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