All together

Leeann Theriault knows there’s safety in numbers.

In her role as Appalachian District manager, Theriault oversees hundreds of employees. She wants each of them to work together to stay safe on the job.

“Safety is a team effort,” Theriault says.

USPS wants all managers and supervisors to follow this approach. Last fall, Appalachian’s team approach to safety helped the district earn one of the Postal Service’s first Safety Leadership and Vision Awards.

To help other district leaders follow Appalachian’s lead, Theriault, who is currently serving on a detail assignment in another district, offers this advice:

•  Bring people together. Hold meetings where Postmasters, supervisors and managers come together with safety ambassadors to brainstorm. Identify trouble spots in individual units and things that need correcting.

•  Be democratic. Have everyone contribute ideas, then vote on things that can be implemented to improve safety performance. After each vote, pick the three best ideas and come up with a process to implement them.

•  Encourage buy-in. Remember: The more people who are involved in efforts to promote safety, the more likely those efforts will succeed.

The bottom line, according to Theriault, is that safety must always come first.

“You have to keep employee safety at the front of everything you do,” she says.

Best Practices,” a series on employees who demonstrate on-the-job excellence, appears regularly in Link.