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Workplace safety is a serious responsibility. More often than not, it is a collective effort where employers, human resources, safety teams, and employees have to play their part in ensuring a safe and hazard-free work environment.

With the evolution of safety practices and approaches, health and safety parameters have also evolved in the workplace.

There is a higher expectation from the workplace, and the definition of safety has expanded to include employee wellbeing in the full sense of the term.

Reminders, whether they are in the form of safety posters at work or a slogan competition, consistently reinforce the safety culture and make sure everyone has a safety-first approach in the workplace.

Workplace safety quotes to inculcate a safety culture

Here are some inspiring and wise words of wisdom in the form of safety quotes for work that many of us can benefit from:

1. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

Small steps taken proactively can thwart safety incidents of epic proportions.

2. “Safety is not a gadget, but a state of mind.” – Eleanor Everet, Safety Expert

Safety is not a box-ticking exercise or using fancy gadgets and gizmos. It is really about having the right mindset that identifies potential threats and makes consistent safety and security efforts.

3. “Tomorrow: your reward for working safely today.” – Robert Pelton

Working safely holds the promise of your future; it is easy to slip but essential to remember that safety is a consistent exercise.

4. "Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands.” – Jeff Cooper

More often than not, people assume safety is a piece of machinery, gadget, or technology issue. Instead, it is a mindset and needs a safety-first approach in everything we do.

5. “It takes leadership to improve safety.” - Jackie Stewart

Leadership can help establish safety standards and values at an organizational level, creating a safety mindset and an ingrained culture to put safety at the foundation.

6. “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”- Meg Cabot

Think about the consequences of your actions before you end up in trouble.

7. “Safety brings first aid to the uninjured.”- F.S. Hughes

It is better to stay alert and avoid accidents and incidents with foresight and planning.

8. "What matters in a workplace, what helps an employer if you've got a unionized workforce is if your shop stewards know the rules of the game if your safety reps are taught to examine situations to make sure the workplace is safer. Better informed delegates better workplace safety saves companies money. Unions are very good at safety. We are good at teaching delegates how to resolve disputes.” – Bill Shorten

Teamwork and leadership are both important to enforce safety within the workplace. When safety reps and unionized teams take ownership of safety, it becomes a collective effort, not just management’s responsibility.

9. ”An incident is just the tip of the iceberg, a sign of a much larger problem below the surface.” – Don Brown

Root cause analysis often helps us identify the cause behind an incident which is a more deep-rooted problem.

10.“Obedience is the mother of success and is wedded to safety.”– Aeschylus

Success will follow if we are safe and disciplined and abide by safety guidelines.

11. "There's no better policy in society than pursuing the health and safety of its people.”– Ralph Nader

In a profit-centric society, it is an important reminder that the health and safety of people should always come first.

12. "You are your last line of defense in safety. It all boils down to you”. – Kina Repp, is a workplace accident survivor, and motivational speaker.

No matter how many experts and consultants you rope in to talk about and implement safety, ultimately, it is up to you and your team to be the gatekeepers of safety.

13. "Safety is not an intellectual exercise to keep us in work. It is a matter of life and death. It is the sum of our contributions to safety management that determines whether the people we work with life or die.” – Sir Brian Appleton, safety assessor.

Safety experts are driven by the passion and commitment for public health and safety more than the intellectual or monetary benefits of the profession.

14. “Working safely is like breathing – if you don’t, you die.”– Jerry Smith

Practicing safety is as important as breathing, for the lack of breath and protection both have the same consequence.

15. “Don't do something detrimental to yourself. In hurting yourself, you obviously do damage to you, but you are part of the team, so when you damage yourself via a poor choice, you are hurting the team as well.” – Matt Forck

The repercussions of poor safety choices don’t just impact individuals but pose a more significant threat to team members and even the community.

16. “I do care a great deal about the environment. Still, my real work and my greatest challenge are trying to overcome deceits that end up jeopardizing public health and safety.”– Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich, leading environmental activist and consumer health and safety advocate, talks about how the real environmental and ecology issues are somehow tied up with public health and safety.

17. "Our motto is to work for peace based on social justice. Our mandate is to improve the condition, health, and safety of workers, and our mission is universal’.” – David A. Morse

Caring for workers is a universal credo of social justice. Improving health and safety is the most important component of this.

18. “Safety applies with equal force to the individual, to the family, to the employer, to the state, the nation, and international affairs. Safety, in its widest sense, concerns the happiness, contentment, and freedom of mankind.” – William M. Jeffers

Without individual, workplace, state-wide, national, and international safety, we will all be in a constant state of threat. Security, in essence, is about happiness, contentment, and freedom of all humanity.

19. “Safety work is today recognized as an economic necessity. It is the study of the right way to do things.” – Robert W. Campbell

The unsafe way of doing things is not only dangerous to human life, but it also has a wider economic and moral impact.

20. "Work injuries and illnesses can affect every aspect of life for workers and their families.” – Maine Department of Labor

A minor safety incident or injury can have a monumental impact on workers' lives and family members.

21. “Luck runs out, but safety is good for life.” - Safety slogan

Banking on luck is not the correct approach to implementing safety because chance will not be on your side someday.

22. "If you want to work out what a safety displacement activity is, take it out of the equation and see if it makes any difference. If there’s no difference, then whatever that activity is, it’s probably a waste of time. ” – George Robotham

Companies spend a lot of time and energy on safety displacement activities. Still, often there is no valid reason for doing them, and many are poorly considered activities marketed by safety consultants.

23. “Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.”– Author Unknown

Just as you can’t put a value on human life, you can’t put a price on safety, and it’s invaluable.

24. "Paper doesn’t save people, people save people.” – Dan Peterson

Policies and guidelines serve as guiding principles, but ultimately, people save other people with the right processes and actions.

25. "Your employees learn by example. If they don't see you practising good safety habits, they won't think safety is important.” – Electrical Construction & Maintenance

Leadership plays a vital role in implementing a safety culture in the organization. If the employers don’t practice safety, employees will emulate the same behavior.

26. "You don’t need to know the whole alphabet of Safety. The A, B, C of it will save you if you follow it: Always Be Careful.” – Colorado School of Mines Magazine

The importance of always being on guard and vigilant can’t be emphasized enough in the context of safety.

27. "The safety of the people shall be the highest law.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

People’s safety and security must be the highest concern of public officials and organizations. Progress and profits don’t matter if the people are not safe.

28. "Prepare and prevent, don’t repair and repent.” – Author Unknown

Prevention is always better, accessible, cheaper, and safer than remediation.

29. "Measuring Safety Performance by the number of injuries you have is like measuring parenting by the number of smacks you give.” – Dr. Robert Long

Workplace safety is a behavioral and cultural issue more than a statistical issue. We need to stop measuring success simply by numbers.

30. “Safety is 30% Common Sense, 80% Compliance, and the rest is good luck.” – Barry Spud

Safety is a combination of discipline, compliance, common sense, and good luck.


Workplace safety quotes to live by from leaders and safety experts throughout history. You can use these motivational safety quotes in your company newsletter, design posters or coffee mugs for your employees, or encourage them to use these in their email signatures.

Encouraging employees to strengthen the safety culture will go a long way in building your organization's core values.

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Mary Madhavi Reddy

Mary Madhavi Reddy LinkedIn

Mary is a content marketer with 20 years of experience. Her career spans GE Money, Google, and some growth-stage startups. At Empuls, she handles product messaging and positioning.