Safety leadership in crisis management

Why you may need skills like risk evaluation, crisis communication and emotional intelligence

Safety leadership in crisis management
Nikhil Rattan

Within the fabric of organizational resilience, safety leaders play a pivotal role that extends beyond traditional responsibilities. In the post pandemic world, the domain of safety has broadened, intertwining with crisis operations and management in ways that require safety professionals to possess a nuanced understanding and a diverse skill set. This shift emphasizes the importance of enhancing expertise in crisis management basics not for compliance purposes but as a strategic necessity to protect human assets — the core of any organization — during times of crisis.

The Evolving role of safety leaders

In the past EHS leadership primarily focused on maintaining safety by ensuring regulatory compliance conducting risk assessments and implementing preventive measures. However, the scope has now expanded. These professionals are viewed as collaborators in crisis management who are entrusted with navigating the intricate dynamics of emergency response, disaster recovery and business continuity. To quote Helen Keller "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." This sentiment captures the essence of modern safety leadership.

Safety leaders are now more involved across functional groups and play a crucial role in a collaborative crisis management approach combining their expertise with that of other important stakeholders to promote a resilient culture.

The importance of enhancing skills in crisis management

The diverse nature of crises spanning from natural calamities to cyber threats necessitates safety leaders to possess a wide range of abilities, such as risk evaluation, crisis communication and emotional intelligence. Improving skills in these areas is not a choice but a necessity. Investing in education for safety professionals on essential crisis management principles enhances their capacity to forecast potential crises formulate comprehensive response plans and lead effectively during challenging periods. By improving their crisis management skills, safety professionals can boost their capacity to communicate effectively to uplift morale and ensure that the workforce stays engaged and resilient. This people focused approach does not only nurture a favorable organizational environment but also contributes to the recovery and sustainability of the organization post crisis. As organizations navigate an uncertain landscape, the significance of enhancing safety professionals’ expertise in crisis management basics cannot be emphasized enough. It stands as an investment in fortifying the organizations resilience and safeguarding the well being of its human resources.