Traditional safety programs have had a traditional tension in them: A company imposes rules, and its employees find ways to get by with not following them. Where this tension exists, it exists for one reason only: The employees do not understand why the rule matters. It’s seen as an impediment to getting the job done.
A concept that sticks out when you read the NFPA 70E General Requirements [110.3] is that your safety programs must be geared toward developing understanding and self-discipline in the employee. Achieving this requires an approach that vastly differs from the traditional “read our safety manual” approach or the dynamic where supervisors walk around looking for unsafe acts.
If people are hurriedly putting on their safety glasses when a supervisor is spotted approaching them, your system isn’t working.
In addition to creating this enforcement situation, a rules-only safety program does not prepare employees for situations where a rule does not already cover the hazard. If your training program is based on developing understanding and self-discipline, the employees will be prepared for any situation that may arise.