Speak-Up Listen-Up (SULU) is a means for employees to engage each other to improve communication, provide positive coaching, and address immediate safety issues in the workplace. Decades-long research of effective strategies for safety management has shown SULU as a way for supervisors and craftsmen to enable safety conversations more frequently and effectively occurring on a daily basis. We demonstrate our pledge to provide input through both speaking and listening so everyone gets home safely.
The Purpose of SULU
- Help employees overcome fear and anxiety about speaking up by being empowered to engage each other in a friendly cooperative manner.
- Follow a few simple rules for employees to give and receive safety-related feedback
- Helps create effective safety conversations between employees and leaders.
- Emphasize safety as everyone’s responsibility.
- Accept that unsafe acts are the leading contributor to incidents and speaking to each other is an appropriate way to resolve issues.
ASK if you can talk about the situation. When you see someone doing an unsafe act express that you care what happens to them. Have the courage to not “walk by” and condone an unsafe act.
COMMIT to work more safely. Each person should agree that doing things the safe way is the best way. Find common ground of what is to be done.
FOLLOW-UP with the person to see that he/she is working safely. Check back with them to see that things are going safely for them. When you see someone doing the “right thing”, communicate that you appreciate them doing it right. See if there was a previous experience or training that set them on the right path.
LISTEN to the message. Don’t be offended if someone stops and corrects you. You don’t have to agree, just listen and provide your input to their concern. It’s up to you to be receptive and accept that everyone needs coaching sometimes.
COMMIT to a safer way. Accept that the person had the courage to speak to you and accept that all of our behavior can be improved upon to be safer.
Example 1: A co-worker takes a shortcut across a debris field with tools he obtained from the tool trailer. You stop him and point out that he can trip fall or worse in the rough ground and debris and offer to help him carry the tools. You both agree that the safest way is to walk around. Later, you see the person and thank them for doing
Example 2: A co-worker is standing with his safety glasses on his head instead of protecting his eyes. You stop him and ask him to put on his safety glasses. He agrees and tells you he needs a new pair because these are scratched. Later, you find him with new glasses he received from the Foreman and you point out it was the best thing to do.