Special Topics in Safety Management

Social Media for Safety Professionals

Yesterday, we talked about mobile apps for safety professionals. Today, we focus on potential benefits of social media.

Pam Walaski, certified safety professional and regional manager for EHS services at Compliance Management International, says that social media have had a significant impact on the safety profession. She cites three main impacts:

1. Professional development and networking. Social media can enhance professional development and networking through social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn®.

Walaski explains, that using social media is about engaging and connecting with people you may never meet face-to-face, but can share and ask questions of. “Then, down the road, if you’re job hunting, you’ve got all those connections.”

These sites are especially valuable for safety professionals who work alone and for those who have limited funding for conferences and professional development.

2. Communication with stakeholders. A second vital role of social media is to help safety pros conduct risk and crisis communications with stakeholders. An example is the Facebook page that popped up as a winter storm bore down on unprepared Atlanta in late January. The page attracted 46,000 users in 1 day, connecting those in need of help with people willing to assist.

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3. Sharing information with colleagues. Walaski says social media also offers a way to get and share relevant information about safety and health on a daily basis. While print publications remain essential, the immediacy of social media is a big part of its appeal. When social media is used as it is intended—as a two-way source of communication—“it can make us all better at what we do,” Walaski adds.


Inexperience with social media is a problem for some safety professionals. Walaski encourages those who want to get involved with digital tools not to hide behind inexperience. Look for a knowledgeable (probably younger) colleague who can help you get started.

Another challenge for safety pros who want to do more with digital technology is what Walaski calls “overly restrictive” corporate policies governing social media and account passwords.

Walaski says many states now prohibit companies from requiring employees to provide their passwords to management. She says some people may choose not to enter the social media scene for fear of running afoul of management policies.

And finally, while some employees fear being considered backward or tech-phobic, Walaski says, “There’s also a concern about appearing to be one of those people who’s always got a phone in their face.” Not surprisingly, her advice is to strike a balance—use technology to your advantage without letting it overtake your job or your life.

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Another Great Web Resource

Safety.BLR.com is another great online resource for safety professionals. At BLR’s website you’ll be able to stay on top of all the latest developments in workplace safety and health easily and effectively at an affordable price. And it’s there for you at your convenience, 24/7.

Whether it’s changes in OSHA regulations, enforcement activities, best practices, safety policy tips, or some other vital safety and health issue, you’ll find it all reported and interpreted for you by our safety experts at Safety.BLR.com.

What’s more, this one-stop safety website is a fantastic resource for safety training materials on just about any topic you can imagine.

Training responsibilities become a snap with the website’s thousands of audio presentations, PowerPoints, prewritten safety meetings, toolbox talks, trainer’s guides, and much, much more. You’ll find training tools on more than 120 safety topics along with plain-English compliance analysis and other resources.

At a time when budget considerations are paramount, what makes more sense than an all-in-one safety training and compliance solution?

And BLR has revamped Safety.BLR.com to meet your needs even better. You’ll be amazed by all the features and functionality of the site. Highlights include:

  • Side-by-Side State/Federal Compliance. By placing our state and federal regulatory analysis side by side, you easily see how to fully comply with both governmental entities.
  • MSDS Library Expansion. The site now provides an immense library of 3.5 million MSDS and SDS forms, with about 10,000 more added or changed every week. Need one? Just call up the chemical by name, manufacturer, product group, or CAS number, then print it out.
  • Newsletter Wizard. If you’ve ever wanted to publish a safety newsletter but felt lacking in editorial skills, this new addition is for you.
  • Plan Builder. Select from our library of safety plans, customize them to suit your company’s needs, and assemble them into collections you can save in our personal library.

We’re pretty excited about Safety.BLR.com and all of its enhancements, and we’re eager for you to experience it, too. That’s why we’ve created a complimentary site tour, available here. It takes just 5 minutes.

If you like what you see, you’re invited to try the site at no cost and with no obligation. We’ll even give you a complimentary special report for doing so. Go here to take a 5-minute tour of Safety.BLR.com. It may be just what you’re looking for.