Search Results for: Commitment

SCnSP – When is the safety battle won?

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Jul 2017
     

When Is The Safety Battle Won?

Engaging hearts and minds

Heart = OwnershipMind = Commitment

     

Many centuries ago, a Roman general was leading his legions towards the enemy in a swampy country. He knew that the next day’s battle would be fought on a certain plain because it was the only dry, flat place for miles. He pushed his army all night, marching them through a frightening and formidable swamp, so that they reached the battle site before the enemy and could claim the high ground.

In the aftermath of victory, the general called his troops together and asked them, “Brothers, when did we win the battle?”
One captain replied, “Sir, when the infantry attacked.”
Another said, “Sir, we won when the cavalry broke through.”
“No,” said the general. “We won the battle the night before – when our men marched through that swamp and took the high ground.” [1]

So, when is the SAFETY battle won?

Not when the rubber hits the road, or the airplane is at cruising height, or the construction is in progress, or the plant is operating on full steam. Not by analysing the statistics, reporting ‘near misses’ and investigating incidents. Not by paperwork and audits. Not by being reactive.

No … because by then it’s too late. All you can do then is police for compliance. I mean, can you imagine if the general in the above story had used that approach – having to check (audit) that his troops are actually fighting and using the correct combat tactics, rather than leading them in battle?

No. The safety battle is won long before any of the items mentioned above. It is won when we manage to get safety into the hearts and minds of all our people. It is won when we have succeeded in getting people to make safety a habit, in everything they do. Before they tackle each task, while they’re carrying out the task and after they’ve completed the task. It is won when the safety ABC is in place – individual safety Attitude, Behaviour, Choice. It is won when our people are no longer complying out of fear of being caught and disciplined or because the boss is watching. The safety battle is won when our people are thinking ‘Safety Assurance’ as part of the preparation for everything they do. It is won when individual perceptions of risk include thinking about consequences.

Finally, the safety battle is won when we all are looking at continuous improvement and best practices and sharing how to work smarter and safer. It is won when our people are not afraid of failing and treat every ‘near hit’ as an opportunity to improve productivity and safety.

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

As safety professionals, we should strive to support the business by improving productivity safely!
We should be the first port of call when people are thinking of taking a shortcut or reporting a ‘near hit’ or ‘failure’. And it should be because they know and trust that we will help them do it safely, instead of blaming, and crucifying them for pushing the boundaries.
Safety Always.

[1]   Pressfield, Steven. The Warrior Ethos. Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2011). 978-1936891009.

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GM – World AIDS Day 2016

AIDS ribbon bullet pointAIDS ribbon bullet pointAIDS ribbon bullet point      WORLD AIDS DAY   AIDS ribbon bullet point   1 December 2016      AIDS ribbon bullet pointAIDS ribbon bullet pointAIDS ribbon bullet point
Oct 2016

Hands up for #HIVprevention

Picture: Hands up for #HIVprevention

It’s World AIDS Day in just over a month’s time. I think the UN’s hashtag for this year’s theme should’ve been #HIVPreventionEveryDay, but I am grateful that, at the least, we all have the opportunity to emphasise the need for #HIVprevention on this one particular day, every year.

Why?

According to the UN’s “AIDS By The Numbers” report for 2016, 1.1 million people worldwide died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2015. It was also estimated that, by the end of 2015, there would be 36.7 million people in the world living with HIV. [1]

The stats for South Africa are dismal. Year on year, since 2010, the number of people contracting HIV has been going UP, with an estimated 19.2% of the population being infected as at 2015. [2]

Most of you who read my safety tips regularly will know that I believe in tackling issues over which we have control. HIV/AIDS is one of those issues. We can all contribute to the UN members’ goals of ending AIDS by 2030.

Number 3 on the list of the UN’s “Fast Track Commitments to end AIDS by 2030” [3] is:

“Ensure access to combination prevention options, including pre-exposure prophylaxis, voluntary medical male circumcision, harm reduction and condoms, to at least 90% of people …”

Number 5 is:

“Ensure that 90% of young people have the skills, knowledge and capacity to protect themselves from HIV …”

UNAIDS, the UN agency responsible for the global HIV/AIDS response, has published their World AIDS Day campaign brochure for the 2016 theme: “Hands up for #HIVprevention“. It’s an exciting, interactive initiative and the brochure expands on what you can do to raise awareness using their “Hands Up” theme. [4]

I am raising my hand for PREVENTION and AWARENESS and you can too.

[1]    “AIDS By The Numbers” 2016, UN Epidemiology publication

[2]    From additional data made available at aidsinfo.unaids.org

[3]    “10 Fast Track Commitments to End AIDS by 2030“, UNAIDS publication

[4]    “UNAID’s World AIDS Day 2016 Campaign Brochure

ON OFFER

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Be a Smart Cookie.
Make a difference in the lives of your employees and their communities.

Introduce a new idea that is
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Raise your Hands up for #HIVprevention:

Get the No Condom No CookieGoodie Box for your employees.
Don’t stop there.
Sponsor them for your local high schools, clinics and similar places in your communities.

picture of No Condom No Cookie AIDS Goodie Box contents

This Do-It-Yourself AIDS Education Kit contains AIDS Awareness cookies, posters, keyrings with condom compartments, info-lets and facilitation guide.
PLUS … there are various content options available and quantity discounts too!

  More info   In action   Feedback  

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D1STEM – Set a Date

♦ SERIES ♦    DO ONE SAFETY THING EACH MONTH    ♦ SERIES ♦
Feb 2016

I have two words for you this month:  commit   and   deliver 

Set a Date
… if you’re serious

graphic showing a date circled on a calendar and importance

If you haven’t announced a date, you’re not serious. It is like your wedding date, period!

Pick a date. It can be in the future. But … too far in the future and we’ll all know that you’re merely stalling / buying time. Too soon and we’ll know you are not serious either. Set a realistic date, a date everyone can live with and that you can meet. That is all others expect of you!

If your project can’t pass this simple acid test, it’s not a project.

Deliver on the date you committed to, regardless of external factors that may interfere. Deliver it even if you don’t think it’s perfect. You picked the date. You should be waiting at the altar!

Now, don’t go overboard and pick a date for every little item on your list. Get your priorities right and then pick a date for those few critical and important items or projects. Be professional. Be a staatmaker [1]. Once you’ve set a date, never miss that date! Remember, your wedding.

One more thing. If you’re dependent on others for your ‘set date’, then get their commitment by asking them by when you can expect their input and then hold them accountable!

[1]    staatmaker = mainstay or stalwart

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SCnSP – Lessons from Cats

♦♦  SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies and the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance. The “Trust Factor” is one of those fundamental things.

Lessons from Cats

(Near Hit and Incident reporting)

graphic depicting cat - trust - expose soft belly

My wife and I love animals. We have two large dogs and five cats. It is my act of love to brush the cats every Saturday. Lula, the oldest one, is full of trust and flops onto her back, exposing her soft underbelly without any problem. Pippa, on the other hand, would never do this voluntarily and will only expose her underbelly in an all-claws-out fight!

So why do these cats behave so differently? The answer lies in one word – trust.

Lula was born on our bed, showered with care and love for the entire 16 years of her life. She has no hesitation to present herself in the most vulnerable position. Pippa, on the other hand, is one of our rescue children and grew up somewhere in the gutters of Benoni. She had to fend for herself, got ‘raped’ at six months of age and was left with a litter of kittens. Who knows what else has happened to her? Her deep-rooted mistrust throws her into sheer distress when I turn her onto her back to brush her belly.

The link to safety and, indeed, leadership.

Do your people trust you enough to expose their soft underbelly to you?

By that I mean:

  • Do they trust you enough so as to disclose all the near hits, incidents, cuts and bruises, breach of rules and procedures and mistakes, not only in terms of safety, but also in quality, costs, human relations, and …
  • You expect them to report these occurrences, but what have you done to earn their trust? Is your company culture a “Lula” experience with reliable care and love? Or is it a “Pippa” experience of wariness, where people get penalised for mistakes, feel they have to watch their backs and have learned to trust no one?

ACTION

  • Don’t brush this off as another sermon about the soft side of business. This is a fundamental issue. If you don’t really listen, respect, recognise, care and relate to your people, with integrity, you cannot expect them to expose their underbelly to you in full trust.
  • Analyse your emotional balance sheet – penalty vs praise. We are experts at holding up the red card and hardly ever show a green card – the pat on the back, a genuine thank you for doing the everyday things, for sticking to the rules, for ideas, for their commitment, for finishing the project, for …
  • Allow your subordinates to hold up the mirror to their / your leaders, without fear or favour.
    “The mirror we hold up to the person next to us is one of the most important pictures he / she will ever see.” — Seth Godin
    I am not a big fan of surveys, but an anonymous, simple survey might help you?

REFERENCE MATERIAL

“Trust and Respect” – from the book Life EduAction by Jürgen Tietz

“Care and Growth” approach by Etsko Schuitema

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GM – Road Safety – Year-End “Take Safety Home” Message

♦♦♦    Road Safety    ♦♦♦

Year-End Take Safety Home Message

Those of you who have been following me for some time know how passionate I am about this topic. We kill nearly ten times more people on our roads each year than ALL industrial fatalities combined in all workplaces. Chances are that if you are going to lose someone over the holiday season, it will be on the roads. This is not only via vehicle accidents – pedestrian fatalities account for approximately 40% of road-related deaths.

graphic of ambulance with money

We are able to release last year’s crime statistics in the greatest of detail so the SAPS can plan and focus on the right hot spots. But, in spite of substantial funding, the Department of Transports Road Traffic Management Corporation is unable to provide road accident statistics, because they are “reengineering the Road Traffic information collection process”. In terms of road safety, we are effectively flying blind. I cannot give you the exact figure, but I can tell you that the cost of road accidents runs into billions – we could easily build and maintain our road infrastructure if we could halve our accidents.

We all know that we cannot improve something which we are not measuring and the latest road traffic data is from 2011! We can be as concerned as we like about the current situation, but we can only influence what is within our control. Therefore, let us influence our employees to become ACTIVE SAFE road users.

There are three things which kill people on the roads ( F S D )

The first is FATIGUE. If people are tired and take their eyes off the road, the likelihood of accidents shoots up dramatically. Thus encourage the habit of taking a break and getting enough sleep before a road trip.

SPEED is the second killer. Speed reduces the opportunity to react to any unforeseen event and stay in control!

DRINKING (Drugs) is the third killer. Alcohol has a disastrous effect on your reaction time as well as staying awake and alert.

ACTION

1. Draw up your plan for the year-end now! Involve your SHE Reps in that planning – empower them to play an ACTIVE role in implementing some of the ideas below, as well as coming up with their own suggestions.
2. Road Safety Cookie
  graphic of ambulance with money This is a small hand-out to engage ALL your employees in road safety and to remind them to take a safety attitude with them when going home for the holidays.
These Road Safety Cookies™ have been specifically branded with road safety signs and the cookie inserts are road safety messages.
There are many ways to use this COOL TOOL™.
  One idea is to put the name(s) of employees killed during the year in road accidents on the back of the cookie inserts eg. + IN MEMORY OF +
I will assist you with customisation to meet your specific needs.
More ideas
on how to use the Safety Cookies here.
3. Road Safety Toolbox Talks. I am offering this series of 6 CD’s at a special discount of R2,750. These CD’s are part of my COOL TOOL™ Toolbox Talks and cover the Road Safety Topics of Seat Belts, Attitude, Road Signs, Pedestrians and vehicles – download the overview.
3. Advanced Driving Safety Rules. Get your SHE Reps to hand out a leaflet, with advanced driving tips, to everyone leaving your premises when taking their year-end break.
If you need ideas for this, send me an email.
4. Look at activities you can sponsor at schools in your neighbourhood, for example driving lessons or driving simulators for schools.

RELATED MATERIAL

A Hong Kong movie theatre asks its patrons to leave their cell phones ON when they enter the movie house. Using that, Volkswagen made an eye opening advertisement.

Have you been tagged?
Caught at a road block
Taking your eye off the ball / road / task
Walking the circle of safety
Safety misconceptions – what we can learn from them
Manslaughter or murder?

REFERENCE MATERIAL

  • RTMC latest annual report is 2012- 2013. (If you look at Section 8, in particular the part which reviews the achievement of their strategic objective “improve collection of data” on page 56, you will find that they did not achieve KPI 32 = State of Road Safety Report. The financials are in Section 9 on page 71.)
  • Arrive Alive has no up to date info either – last report is 2011.

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SCnSP – Vote for Safety

♦♦♦   SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE   ♦♦♦

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies. One of the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance is to get employees to fully commit to safety because they know they are empowered to make a difference when it comes to safety in the workplace. COOL TOOL™ Vote For Safety™ is a most effective process to achieve just this.

COOL TOOL™ Vote For Safety™

A Process of Engaging All Your Employees

Now is the right time to ride on the wave of election fever. Political parties of all shapes and sizes were abuzz trying to woo voters. The streets are still plastered with papers, posters and promises; flags, banners and T-shirts could be seen everywhere; campaigns, rallies and toyi-toyi were the order of the day; manifestos, interviews and empty rhetoric in the media. More than enough.

However, there is a positive spin-off for us safety practitioners. We can use this political model and the energy created and channel that into safety.

Why do we vote?

Each one of us believes it is our right and civil duty to contribute to who and how the country is run. Most of us trust our vote will make a difference. This is the springboard for safety. Employees must be empowered (and know they are empowered) to make a difference in safety. The best way to empower people is to give them Einspruchsrecht – the right to partake in decisions which affect them, especially in safety.

picture of Cool Tool Vote for Safety with people at the voting booths
picture of Cool Tool Vote for Safety with people at the ballot boxes

The COOL TOOL™ Vote For Safety™ is a most effective process to achieve just this.

We don’t have to train people how to vote. The IEC has done that for us already. We can engage everyone, from the shopfloor to the boardroom. People know that each vote carries the same weight, whether it is the CEO’s or the janitor’s.

Voting is the ultimate way of hearing the people’s voice. The cherry on the top is that, through voting, we can get commitment to safety“We voted for this!”

Using Vote For Safety™, we empower the SHE Reps to become active safety employees. The outcome of the voting lays a powerful foundation to develop a set of non-negotiables and / or for input into a safety improvement program / strategy.

picture saying Take Action and showing a Cool Tool Vote for Safety poster
  • Go to the S.H.E. ATM to watch the COOL TOOL™ Vote For Safety™ video clip and get more information. See what participants have to say about it while you’re there.
  • Brief the management about the concept of Vote For Safety™ and ensure their buy-in. This includes the need for them to take this effort seriously, for absolute transparency and their unconditional acceptance of the results of the voting.
  • Set an election date and ensure that people are given time to go and vote on that day.
  • Brief all employees about Vote For Safety™ – what is the purpose and management’s commitment to the process – WHY, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO and HOW.
  • Appoint a champion / owner who must assemble a team of election officials, observers, etc. and thus drive the process. This is best done by empowering the SHE Reps to elect the “Chief Safety Election Officer” and “Safety Election Officials”. The safety officers should take up the “Safety Election Observer / Advisor” role.
  • The ballot paper is critical to the voting process. Agree on the outcome of the voting process and how to structure the ballot paper.

    Contact me to help you** facilitate Vote For Safety™ and empower the “Chief Safety Election Officer” (She Rep) to present the ballot paper to management for sign off.

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** COOL TOOL™ Vote for Safety™ Process: All rights reserved.

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SCnSP – Do Not Disturb

♦♦♦     SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE     ♦♦♦

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies. One of the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance is to ensure that our people understand the importance of FOCUS time and allow them to incorporate it into their daily work schedule.

Do Not Disturb - people at work

Have you ever tried putting up a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign at work? Or blocking out time in your electronic diary? What happened and should this practice be allowed?

Multi-tasking is often lauded and touted as a desirable, even necessary, trait for efficiency. However, it is a misunderstood concept and is, in fact, *not* an efficient way to get things done and can introduce unnecessary risks[2], eg. consider the risks of using a cell phone while driving, or a pilot being distracted whilst landing an aircraft.

Similarly, distractions and interruptions have a detrimental effect on the task at hand. Attention is diverted and thinking disrupted. The likelihood of a mistake being made once the person resumes the task increases three-fold[1], posing a very real safety hazard. Furthermore, the associated “resumption lag”[3] means it actually takes longer to complete the task, so productivity suffers.

Interruptions and distractions are a reality of our times. In an office environment, this can mean that work is taken home and hours spent “catching up”. (See “Kill the In Tray” [4]) In an environment or situation requiring a person to interact with equipment or machinery or controls, I’m sure you can see that the consequences can prove to be fatal.

We all have 24 hours each day, but successful people have a commitment to remain focused on the important stuff. They use their time efficiently and avoid interruption.

ACTION

  • Schedule just 30 minutes today, where you can appreciate uninterrupted time to focus on ONE important priority task and aim to finish that task. Close the door, put up a DO NOT DISTURB sign and take the phones off the hook. Beware of the email / busy trap, where you feel busy with lots of little urgent things, but you do not tackle the important stuff. (See “Waiting at the Doctors” [5]) At the end of the 30 minutes, check how much productive work you actually got done. During the following 30 minutes, operate normally and see how little you will get done, during the same time frame. Repeat this exercise a number of times, until you are convinced that productivity and success depend on focus, prioritisation and zero interruptions.
  • Now that you are convinced, it is time to create a schedule to get uninterrupted time in your day. Make it a fixed routine and ensure that people who take up your time are aware of your routine, including your boss. (See “Kill the In Tray” [4])
  • Take the above lesson and apply it to your safety critical tasks. Reduce the amount of interruptions and distractions and increase the focus on the task at hand to minimise the potential of mistakes – vessel entry, lifting, working at heights, shut-down -, start-up – and lock-out procedures, etc. including answering a cell phone.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

With grateful acknowledgement to Andrew Horton, whose post “Do Not Disturb”, inspired me to write this Safety Tip, with a focus on the safety risks.

REFERENCES

[1]   Andrew Horton “Do Not Disturb”

[2]   On the hidden perils of juggling too many jobs at once

[3]   Resumption Lag = “the time needed to ‘collect one’s thoughts’ and restart a task after an interruption is over.” [Erik M. Altmann, Task Interruption: Resumption Lag and the Role of Cues]

[4]   Jurgen Tietz “Taking Responsibility: Kill the In-Tray”   Click here to download.

[5]   Jurgen Tietz “Time and Priorities: Waiting at the Doctor”   Click here to download.

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Vote for Safety™ Process

 

Get COMMITMENT TO SAFE BEHAVIOUR – hold an ELECTION!

Vote for Safety by Jurgen Tietz

In order to make the motto “Safety First” a reality in an organization, employees must be empowered (and know they are empowered) to make a difference in safety.

One of the ways to empower people is to give them “Einspruchsrecht” – the right to partake in decisions which affect them, including safety.

COOL TOOL™ VOTE FOR SAFETY™ is a registered process by means of which management provides all employees with the opportunity to add value to safety efforts. It starts with a poster campaign and culminates in a voting day where all employees cast a vote for safety.

The VOTE FOR SAFETY™ process gets all employees engaged in safety. It is driven by elected safety representatives and the key is the ballot paper.

GM – GUPTA Lessons

♦♦ SPECIAL EDITION ♦ SPECIAL EDITION ♦ SPECIAL EDITION ♦♦

My thoughts on this hot topic!

GUPTA Lessons

Wedding debacle GUPTA lessons

(for Leadership)

As leaders, there is much we can learn from the recent GUPTA wedding debacle.

GUPTA = Generally Underestimated People Taking Action

  1. If you want to catch people’s attention, do something creative, unique and novel with lots of passion. Treat your people like VIP’s. You don’t have to charter a plane, use a blue light circus, or hire the Lost Palace at Sun City.
  2. Even with all the money in the world, you still have to follow protocols, policies and procedures. You cannot just “do things on the fly”.
  3. Involve all the right people, plan it properly and communicate with everyone affected, in writing. It’s about team work!
  4. Your people are watching you 24/7. Your leadership microphone is never switched off. Your followers judge you by what they can see = your behaviour and ACTIONS.
  5. ACTIONS have consequences. People choose to do, or not to do, something. People choose to take chances or short cuts.
  6. If we are serious about it, the truth will eventually come out.
  7. Kungumsebenzi wami“. Take responsibility for your actions, including your decisions. Don’t blame others. Have the guts to own up and face the music. You earn respect by saying: “I made a mistake and I am accountable for that”.
  8. As a leader, you have to account for the actions and behaviour of your followers. Don’t just ‘punish’ the officials or workers involved. What about their superiors?
  9. ACT fast and be fair. If it is possible to salvage the situation, then do so and give feedback to your people.
  10. Learn the lessons from your mistakes and share these openly. Making a mistake is human, but repeating the same mistake is stupidity – which cannot be cured.

 

ACTION

For unique and novel ideas of how to treat your people as VIP’s, download my COOL TOOL™ Safety Cookie™ overview here.

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SCnSP – Leadership Responsibility (Rot at Top)

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Feb 2013

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies. One of the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance is the role of leadership.

     

The Rot Starts At The Top

Leadership responsibility in safety

Picture: conductor of orchestra

     

Leaders have to be like the conductor of an orchestra. They select the music, dictate the tune and tempo, and ensure that all employees practice the safety habits so that together they can deliver a masterpiece.

There are, of course, other aspects as well, like setting expectations, holding each player accountable, giving feedback and recognition, etc. Nonetheless, the leaders have to invest their most precious resource to do all of this, namely their TIME. They have to be VIP’s – Visible, Involved and Pro-active – to show their employees that they are serious about safety. This is a tough call because there are so many other issues demanding the leader’s time – costs, quality, productivity, customer service …

The leader is accountable for the safety strategy, for looking ahead to what will be done tomorrow (rather than what is being done today or, even worse, what has been done yesterday!), for thinking, visualising the goal and for formulating the plan of how to get there.

There are 3 key habits which the leaders have to practice in this regard:

  1. Leaders have to formulate and communicate the safety vision and strategy. This is critical. For employees to follow, they need to know where the leader is heading and how he/she plans to get there.
  2. Leaders have to ensure that a culture of taking ACTION, in terms of safety, exists in the organization. Nothing kills the commitment and engagement in safety as quickly as a lack of ACTION. When employees see that nothing is being done about safety incidents or observations, then safety will not be a priority for them either. Taking (safety) ACTION goes way beyond pasting the SHE Policy on the walls!
  3. Leaders have to review the safety strategy. If the desired / anticipated results are not being achieved, then doing more of the same is not going to help. The leader has to look for different ways of doing things and the review should be ongoing, not only once every two years.

ACTION

Here is my challenge to you.

Use the download from my web site dealing with “Vision & Strategy” to examine what you have in place in your organization in terms of your safety strategy. Use the technique in that write-up as a checklist to formulate or review your safety vision and strategy.

It is important that leaders understand that changing the SHE culture is a transformation process and not an event. It takes years to implement such a culture change on a sustainable basis. Most companies run these short-term campaigns like ZERO ACCIDENTS, SAFETY FIRST, NO INJURIES, etc., but do not have a strategy and long-term plan in place.

The first step in formulating a safety strategy is to do the diagnostics. Look at the links below for excellent examples of what I am talking about – plus an outstanding communication effort by the NPC (National Planning Commission):

BTW. As active, adult citizens you should take an interest in what the NPC is doing to shape the future of this country!

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