Search Results for: Brother's Keeper

“My Brothers’ Keeper”

Picture this.
A convoy of 47, lined up and ready to go.
Or better, hear the beat of the engines, as 47 Harley Davidson motor bikes rrrrroar down the open road.

This was the first pack ride for Heidi, my wife, and I.

What an awesome experience, riding with mature and responsible bikers. I felt comfortable and secure driving in the formation of a pack. There is safety in numbers. When the front riders see a danger on the road, like potholes, they alert all the other riders, by means of hand signals, to ‘watch out’, ‘slow down’, or some other precaution. This is truly ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ in action.

The ride kicked off with the road captain briefing everyone about the road conditions and some of the dangers to watch out for. As a newcomer to pack riding, I got a safety talk from Piet, who, by the way, is a Jumbo Jet pilot for SAA!

It was an absolute pleasure sharing a ride with like-minded, safety-conscious bikers. I love the self-discipline, attitude towards safe riding and the concern they show for each other, as well as the fellowship of the Harley riders.

I wish I could transfer this to some of my clients.

 Be safe – the SIMPLY SMART way,

Jürgen

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GM – Under the Knife

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Feb 2013
     

Under the Knife

World Class Safety: Health & Hygiene

Picture: operating theatre staff

     

I have “signed my life away” and I feel like doing a full audit of all the tools, equipment, labelling, but . . . . it’s too late. I am flat on my back on the hard, cold and narrow operating table at Linksfield Hospital.

There is something frightening, yet reassuring about these masked faces.

Frightening, because the doctors have literally got my life in their hands. Thoughts of: “What if . . . .” flash through my brain.

Reassuring, because I know that I can ‘rest assured’ that I am in the best hands, the hands of genuine professionals.

I try to stay alert as nurse Rebecca gives me some oxygen, “just to be safe . . . .” and hooks me up to the monitoring instruments. I see Dr van der Spuy inserting the ‘plastic’ needle of the drip. The last words I hear are “You will feel . . . .” I am asleep in an instant.

Back in the ward, after recovery, I feel so good that I have to pat for the plaster or bandage. Perfect pain control! I have time to think about my hospital stay.

I am sharing this story of my operation with you because a hospital is a prime example of World Class S.H.E. – SAFETY, HEALTH and ENVIRONMENT. I am not talking about a third world bush clinic here, but of a facility and standards we all should strive for in our own operations, be it a factory, plant, mine or office complex.

  • Highly skilled doctors and nursing staff, serious about their work and following strict procedures, without taking short cuts.
  • Non-negotiable rules, such as those regarding hygiene. No one would even contemplate entering the operating theater without a sterile gown, slippers, gloves and mouth guard. Protection (PPE) for both the patient and the medical staff!
  • Working together as a team. No fooling around or taking chances. Clear cut roles and responsibilities – surgeon, anaesthetist, theater nurse, ward sister, cleaner, with no room for error and a spotless environment.
  • Identification and labeling is taken dead seriously, down to a milligram for medication. Identitags and bar coding for the patient with full particulars like ward, bed, responsible doctor, planned procedure, and double checking everything with sign-off (my brother’s keeper), to avoid any misunderstanding.
  • Pre-admission (pre-start) check lists. The anaesthetist would not dream of putting a patient to sleep without a face-to-face examination.
  • Monitoring and record keeping of blood pressure, pulse, temperature, medication, without fail. This is all part of discipline and genuine patient care, including hand-over to the next shift and the following of “doctor’s orders”.
  • Continuous improvement (‘plastic’ needle), especially in procedures and equipment, is part of making it safer for the patient and thus improving SHE all round.

ACTION

My challenge to you:

Use this write up for your next couple of toolbox talks. Furthermore, use it as a model to audit your operation. Forget your existing safety checklists and standards for a moment. Think out of the box and utilize this write up as a wake-up call. Get your senior leadership to ask: “If our operation were a hospital in which we carried out procedures and people’s lives were at stake, what would we do differently, right NOW? How SERIOUS would we be about adhering to our own policies and procedures?”.

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What is your Safety Number?

 

It’s been almost one month since my last update … and here we are, soundly in 2012!

Whether or not you believe the rumours, projections and prophecies for 2012, the fact remains that, ridiculous or not, we humans attach significance to numbers. This can be used to great advantage when it comes to safety.

Most companies have cardinal, lifesaving, golden / chrome / platinum rules. These are often posted up on the walls as pretty pictures. But, in my experience, most employees are NOT familiar with these rules. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes there are just too many rules to remember. More often than not, these rules are just too complex and wordy. The core message of the rule gets lost in all the many big words.  

I have therefore come up with a very simple concept of using a NUMBER to make the rules ‘stick’. A three- or four-digit number is easy to remember and can be printed in large fonts on posters, banners and even smaller items like key rings. The key is to KEEP IT SIMPLE! The numbers reflect the safety message and the company’s rules.

You want an example of this in practice? Here’s the one Assmang Chrome are using, on a banner, to get all employees to sign their commitment to safety.

The numbers stand for:

2 = take two minutes before you do a job or when you observe someone else – it does not have to be two hours, just two minutes of intense observation to find thing to RECOGNISE or to STOP

0 = that the job is going to entail ZERO HARM and ZERO INJURY

4 = that the four Chrome rules are not being violated (in this specific company’s case)

4 = that the four steps to safety are being taken

 

There you have it. SIMPLY  SMART  SAFETY, which people can remember and use to be ‘Your Brother’s / Sister’s Keeper’.

And that’s my core message for you for 2012!

Jürgen

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