Safety and Inclusion: The Enlightened Alliance

Heather Ingraham, CHMM
August 5, 2021
Sponsored by: CF Industries
Safety and Inclusion
This year for National Safety Month, CF Industries explored safety through a broader lens. In the past, CF’s focus has been on physical safety – for example, are you in the line of fire, are you protected from rotating equipment, are chemicals kept in the pipe. That approach helped us achieve many safety records along the way.

But safety isn’t just physical, it’s also emotional. So this year, we focused on ensuring we have an environment where people can freely discuss any concerns, issues, or improvement ideas without fear of retribution or fear of being ignored. These open conversations and feedback about safety are essential to improving our safety culture and performance.

CF recognizes that the best safety cultures honor each person’s experience, and this starts with leaders realizing that their experience isn’t the default or only experience that matters. It also means caring about and respecting each other’s experiences and being open to looking at issues from a different angle. Everyone on your team should feel like they belong, like they are valued, and that they are respected.

That’s why CF is working to connect the dots between Safety and Inclusion. When we consider safety at work, there are really three key components:
  • Physical safety – am I able to prevent injuries?
  • Organizational safety – am I able to use my skills/abilities to make a meaningful contribution?
  • Social safety – am I accepted for who I am, including my unique attributes and characteristics?
It’s important that we take time each day to recognize our differences and help colleagues understand why we do what we do to work safely. These interactions might take place as part of near miss or hazard identification programs, or as part of safety observations or safety leadership activities. These interactions should identify what physical safety risks exist but should also look at what organizational or social challenges may have created or impacted those risks. We need to make sure that through open dialogue and interactions we stay alert for organizational and social safety challenges. These provide an opportunity to help create a shared understanding of safety and teamwork among diverse colleagues.

When people feel included, they feel they can express their ideas and that enables positive change to occur. They feel safe to speak up and challenge the status quo when they think there’s an opportunity to change or improve. When that’s the case, not only does safety feedback and interaction become the norm, but people are also more adaptable in the face of change.

If you are interested in being part of an organization whose core values are anchored in safety and inclusion, then check out these open positions at CF and reach out to Hayli Junge, Manager, Talent Acquisition at [HJunge at cfindustries dot com].


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About the Author

Heather Ingraham, CHMM
CF Industries Inc.
Heather has over 25 years in EHS compliance and management system experience. Her experience includes an onsite EHS manager in Chicago for a global chemical company, a principal consultant with AECOM, a product manager for an EMIS software provider (Enablon), and now the Corporate manager of EHSQ Auditing for CF Industries.

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