Inside Retail Services News

“My Co-Worker’s Keeper” is crucial to safety culture


In “Relational leaders motivate safety behavior,” safety culture experts emphasized the importance of relational leaders in motivating safety behavior follow-throughs. However, the motivation for safety behaviors does not have to come from leaders alone.

“My brother’s keeper” is a phrase derived from the Cain and Abel story recorded in the book of Genesis. Cain and Abel were brothers, but this phrase is generally understood to mean people having a responsibility to care for and watch over their fellow human beings in the western culture.

This ancient principle has incredible modern-day application in motivating everyone in the organization to follow through with all safety practices. When employees show care and concern for one another’s safety, the culture inspires one another to follow through with safety compliance.

Nurturing an environment where being “my co-workers’ keeper” behaviors are encouraged and rewarded can make a big difference because the risk perception or conscientiousness varies among individuals. When the “my co-workers’ keeper” principle is widely practiced, it could prevent injuries from happening to workers with lower risk perception or conscientiousness.

Leveraging conscientious employees to “say something” when they “see something” in a caring way with their co-workers is an added layer of motivation critical to a holistic workplace safety culture.

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