Safety Matters: Factors that lead to unsafe attitudes

Safety policies and practices

At Dow, we are “Driving to Zero” as we attempt to eliminate all injuries and illnesses. Our expectations may be very different from what some workers are used to. Once they cross our fence line, workers need to understand all members of our culture (including contractors and contingent staff workers) must approach work perhaps differently than they have in the past. Many have expressed appreciation for the fact that so much emphasis is placed on safety. It is a fundamental part of our safety culture that no person should come to work and be hurt. 

A safe approach to work is expected between peers, between company and contractor, and between contingent staff worker and leader. There should be a common understanding that there are boundaries that shall not be crossed. There might be debate about what constitutes safety and that dialogue is good so long as a conclusion is reached and workers or supervisors have the courage to stop if things are not working out as planned. For displaying that courage, those employees should be recognized.

Our Drive to Zero to eliminate all injuries and illnesses requires us to control risk and make the necessary investment in time and resources to ensure it’s possible. It may be more costly — but if you think not getting people hurt is important, then the value case has been made. For us, safety is a core value dovetailed into performance. If you can’t get safety right, you’re not going to get anything right. 

Anticipating health and safety issues and taking action to prevent them is a long-term and profitable investment for companies. For more information on industrial hygiene and methods for promoting health and safety in the workplace, as well as a listing of industrial hygiene consultants, please visit the American Industrial Hygiene Association website at

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