It should have been easy to see, but somehow the waters were muddied decades ago and they are just now clearing up. It is well understood that placing an incentive at the right place at the right time is a great method of creating positive behavior change. Anyone working at OSHA would know this (as would any other American) in that we all participate in a wide variety of customer loyalty programs that incent us and affect our behavior. As a result of doing so, we get rewarded for our loyalty to brands we already believe in, and everyone wins.
The idea – and the complaint – that safety and health departments operate out of organizational “silos” has been around for decades. You can trace it back to the creation of OSHA in 1971. Safety and health then became a compliance policing function in many companies. And many employers were angered at OSHA’s sudden intrusion into their operations. As a result, management put safety and health departments and personnel in a silo separated from mainstream business activity. For some employers angered at OSHA, the further distance between safety and the rest of the operations, the better. And so, in a number of business-case scenarios, began safety’s segregation – a cause of frustration, resentment and insecurity for many safety and health professionals that persists to this day.