Search Results for: Focus

SCnSP – Bums on Seats

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Feb 2018
     

Bums on Seats

getting bums on seats at the right safety training does affect the bottom line positively

The Bottom Line

     

I’ve been thinking lately about the eternal question of the ROI (Return On Investment) for safety and safety projects in particular. My conclusion is that there is no direct ROI for safety. What one can expect is a reduction in incidents, resulting in a lowering of costs in terms of losses (medical and damages). Most industries and organisations use the rear-view-mirror approach to determine the ROI for safety projects using injuries, lives lost (fatalities) and, often, loss of reputation (safety record) as criteria.

However, the bottom line impact is not any of the above, but culture. Safety is part of the overall culture of an industry or organisation. Safety is not a stand-alone entity. Safety means doing things in a safe manner, doing it right, first time and every time, avoiding injury, loss and waste. Safety means engagement, it means ownership of the process, rules, operation and controls, amongst others. You cannot get safety right without rubbing off on other aspects of culture, like behaviours, teamwork, problem-solving, a bias towards action, productivity, quality and so on. That is why the real ROI for safety is its impact on the bottom line.

There are many ways in which the culture in an organisation is established. Leadership visibility, by living out the vision and values, especially in terms of safety, is one of the most important. Another one is education and training and, therefore, empowerment. It is imperative to get bums on seats, especially with safety training and, again, here leadership support is imperative.

At Disruptive Safety, we focus on the frontline to influence the culture, by educating and empowering H&S Reps in terms of safety.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Dr Cathy Key, for inspiring this safety tip by her use of the line “Getting Bums on Seats, the Bottom Line”.
[www.confmanager.com]

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SCnSP – Rework Your Safety Approach

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Feb 2018
     

Re‘-Work Your Safety Approach

Including your H&S Rep Training

Empowered Safety Rep

     

Let’s re-examine the real reason why safety is important.

We want our employees to return home to reunite with their families, every day. We want our assets and plants to remain in a safe and productive state. We want to re-use our resources and be relentless in reducing waste and effluent. Our operations need to be refined to reach the goal of reliably producing environment-friendly products.

Often, one of the causes of problems with safety is that we repeat old mistakes, over and over and over again. We need to recollect and learn from the past. One of the ways to do this is by conducting managerial reviews as part of our management system and standards.

The ‘RE‘ words

These are really important for safety because they’re action words and safety is not a once-off exercise.

RETURN  to the basics of safety.
REDISCOVER  the power of people – driven by a safety vision.
REQUEST  involvement and participation by all in safety.
REVIEW  your safety approach – reactive or proactive?
RECONSIDER  your safety recipe – approach.
RENEW  your safety systems and approach.
REFRESH  your approach – no papers, posters and pamphlets.
REINVENT  how you engage your people in safety.
REFLECT  on your attitude towards safety.
RECOGNISE  safe  behaviour and results.
REINFORCE  safe behaviour.
REWARD  Disruptive Safety[1] – better, faster, cheaper, safer.
RECHARGE  your safety efforts – our safety batteries are limited.
RETHINK  the repercussions of taking chances.
RECALL  incidents and remind employees of the consequences.
REVISE and REWRITE  your procedures to include safety.
RE-EXAMINE  what is preventing safety success.
REMOVE  causes of / reasons for unsafe behaviour.
RECTIFY  unsafe conditions promptly.
REPAIR  broken or damaged equipment or assets.
RESTORE  safety equipment and devices.
REPRIMAND  reckless behaviour.

Note

The word REACT is not in the above list because that is the most important behaviour / action to avoid in safety. A reactive approach focuses on compliance and corrective action only, rather than on prevention and doing the right things.
Also note that the words REVIEW, RECONSIDER, RENEW and REFRESH are all key to Disruptive Safety™ and that is why we have created The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide and are running in-house workshops.

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

Ask yourself and your team:

Are you giving your internal customers (company employees) what they need or ordered, or are you merely flogging them stuff you think they should have or do, i.e. things they didn’t ask for, don’t understand or accept, can’t use and don’t value?

Don’t brush this off. This is a critical question if you want to get buy-in from the people you serve. It’s easy to assume that co-workers / employees don’t know what’s required in order to keep them safe. How do you know what it is that they do or don’t know if you haven’t asked them?

Listen and respect the input from those who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’. Accept their recommendations and legalise their actions = make them safe. This is where your H&S Reps play a critical role, provided they have been properly educated and empowered.

[1]   Disruptive Safety™ promotes a futuristic approach to safety which shifts the safety paradigm from ‘Preventing wrong’ to ‘Ensuring right’. Read more

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Nigel Risner, my international professional speaking colleague, who granted me permission to adapt the ‘RE’ concept for purposes of this safety tip.
[www.nigelrisner.com]

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SCnSP – The Snooze Button

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Jan 2018
     

The  Snoo-zzz-zzz-e  Button

Delaying action

clock ticking countdown tick-tock

     

Growing up in Namibia, I spent many of my holidays on my grandparents’ farm, which is in the arid areas of the country. There was no electricity and every drop of water had to be pumped from a borehole. This didn’t worry my grandfather in the least. Regardless of the season, he was up every morning before sunrise, when the old cuckoo clock struck four, and in the kitchen making coffee, before heading out to attend to the work of the day.

He didn’t press a snooze button. In fact, I doubt he ever set an alarm clock. His motto was: “Today, Not Tomorrow”. He knew that when it’s time to plough, that’s what you do, because the rains don’t have a snooze button. The same went for the cows. When they came into the kraal in the early morning, it was milking time. No hitting the snooze button.

The snooze button is an invention which encourages the poor habit of delaying unavoidable action. Pressing the snooze button buys one a few extra minutes’ sleep, but doesn’t make a difference in the long run. Instead of hitting the ground running, we fall prey to this folly of delayed action, which often results in things taking longer in the end. Every time we choose “I-can-do-that-later”, we waste time picking up the thread and re-focussing.

In safety, there are a number of things that, like the rain and milking cows, don’t have a snooze button. Opportunity and risk are two examples. Opportunity normally has a short timeframe and if you press snooze, in most cases, you will lose. The expression: “There will always be another opportunity” is loser’s language. The same goes for risk. Once you have identified it, you have to deal with it, because you can’t put a risky situation on hold. Actually, if you don’t take swift action you will likely create an even bigger risk by breeding complacency.

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

Take time NOW to think about your personal snooze buttons.

Questions you can ask yourself:

  • What (and why) will you put off this year?
  • How often do you say to yourself: “I don’t have time now, I’ll do it later”?
  • How often do you allow your work to be disrupted?
  • How frequently do you allow yourself to be distracted from what you are busy with?
  • Have you ever taken note of how many times you use your Inbox, or phones, or meetings as snooze buttons, thereby delaying making decisions, taking charge, seizing an opportunity and choosing to take action?

ESSENTIAL LINKS

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SCnSP – Obsolete Safety – Part 2

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Nov 2017
     

Obsolete Safety (2)

the right people
+
the right questions
=
useful answers

communication

     

Ask better questions.
Ask the right people.
Don’t make assumptions.

These are some of the points I made in Obsolete Safety (part 1).
So here are some questions for you and your leaders.

QUESTIONS re SAFETY (the overall culture):

  • Who owns safety?
  • Who drew up the safety strategy / policy / budget and lifesaving rules ? Now: Ask the first question again.
  • What happens when your employees walk through the gate (both when coming to work and going home)?
  • How are you measuring safety, via the rear view mirror (looking at the past) or the windscreen (looking to the future)?
  • What keeps you awake at night, in terms of safety?

QUESTIONS re H&S REP’S specifically:

  • How happy are you with the contribution / engagement of your H&S Reps?
  • How proactive are your H&S Reps?
  • How happy are you with the people volunteering as H&S Reps?
  • Can your H&S Reps solve basic safety problems at the coalface?
  • How happy are you with the two-way communication in safety?

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

It’s easy to dismiss this with a “Been there, done that.”
However, I urge you to do it again and this time, ask the right people.

Run a few fully facilitated focus groups. Mixed groups consisting of EXCO members, managers, supervisors and H&S Reps work best, but your existing culture will determine whether or not you can do that. Take care to not fall into the trap of ‘analysis paralysis’, though. Talking to even a small number of people will quickly give you the answers.

Give serious consideration to the Disruptive Safety approach [1] to transform your workplace safety.

[1]   Disruptive Safety™ promotes a futuristic approach to safety which shifts the safety paradigm from ‘Preventing wrong’ to ‘Ensuring right’.

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Disruptive Safety™ and The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide  –  what it is and why you need it

Let me help your staff reflect upon, recommit to and be responsible for championing your safety culture.

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SCnSP – Obsolete Safety – Part 1

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Mar 2017
     

Obsolete Safety

(Part 1)

obsolete printer

     

It was with great sadness that I had to pull the plug on my HP990 CXI. It was this printer that enabled me to self-publish over 550 copies of my first book (some 210 000 pages). Over its 17-year lifespan, it processed close to 2 tons of paper. I feel a real sense of loss, because, to use an old cliche, they just don’t make them like this anymore. On this trusty printer’s death certificate, the technician wrote: “Obsolete. No spare parts available anymore.”

Obsolete.

It’s one of those killer words. It originates from the Latin obsolescere meaning “to fall into disuse” – a very handy adjective for anything that is determined to no longer be of any use. It can be applied to words, factories, computer software, ways of thinking – anything that has, usually, been displaced by a newer, shinier innovation.

Let’s consider workplace safety, in the light of obsolescence.

As far as I’m concerned, if you’re still using Heinrich’s pyramid[1], or your safety systems are based on compliance, near misses, Zero Harm and Safety First, then your approach to safety in the workplace is obsolete. A harsh judgement? Perhaps, but it’s true. (Heinrich’s empirical findings date back to the 1930’s!)

So what’s the answer?

It’s not a new (computer) system, but rather, being willing to adopt a fresh approach, to look at things from a different angle / perspective. And not because it’s cool or the current trend, but because you recognise that what you have in place is obsolete.

Resistance to change

We like to stay in our comfort zone – the place where we know what to do and don’t have to work too hard to get it done. It’s tough to admit that what we’re doing might have been superseded by something better. My VW Beetle was a most wonderful vehicle. I hung onto it for years and years, even though it was outdated. Compared to today’s cars, it’s performance and reliability, fuel efficiency, emissions, driving comfort and safety were poor. Still, I loved the “Volksie” sound. It was hard to let it go.

Change is inevitable

One of the constants of our life, as we know it, is that everything that is being done today will be done better, faster, more cheaply and more safely, i.e. more efficiently, in the future. That’s because change is driven by a mindset of “we want it and we want it now”. This is true not only of photography, banking, transport, music, communication, food consumption, or any other field you care to think of. It’s true of Health and Safety too.

The way to go

Disruptive Safety™ is a solution-based model which totally transforms the way in which workplace safety is approached. It’s about moving The Elephant (safety culture) and getting everyone to really own safety. A key component of Disruptive Safety™ is the manner in which H&S Reps are engaged, viz. by shifting their attentions so that, instead of focusing only on prevention and compliance, they also apply a proactive approach of making sure things go right.

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

Examine your safety approach.

Ask better questions. Ask the right people. Don’t make assumptions or be complacent. Are you doing the same things over and over but expecting better results?

Now answer the question: Is your safety approach obsolete?
If yes, then you’re ready for Disruptive Safety™. Contact us if you want to know more about it.

[1]   Herbert William Heinrich’s 300-29-1 ratio, also known as Heinrich’s triangle, pertaining to his premise re the foundation of a major injury.

ESSENTIAL LINKS

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SCnSP – Safety Through Improvement

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Oct 2016
     

Safety Through Improvement

Lessons from flat tyres

Picture: 1950's on-the-road breakdown repairs

     

I have 2 vehicle-related anecdotes from which lessons can be learnt. The first is from my youth and the second a much more recent one.

I still remember vividly the long trips we used to take by car when I was a young boy, growing up in Namibia in the 1950’s.

In those days, there were no tarmac roads and motor vehicles weren’t very reliable. It was quite normal on such trips for the car to break down a few times. Two or three punctures and maybe even having to replace a tyre were quite common too. This meant that, before every trip, we had to prepare a set of spares, including spark plugs, fan belts and, of course, tyres, tubes and patches. We also packed a toolbox, tyre pump, wheel spanner, jack and a can of water (to fill up the radiator) into the car. Invariably, dealing with breakdowns meant cuts, bruises and other injuries, so the First Aid kit we carried in the car was also restocked on a regular basis.

The lesson to be learnt from this story is that plant and process reliability improve safety. Every time we have to carry out maintenance work or an operational intervention, especially modifications, changes and non-routine work, the risk of injury and damage increases because we have to fit and fiddle to make things work. It is for that reason that we have to change things for the better through continuous improvement [1]. One way to do that is to look at how advances in technology can help us to design in safety.

Recently, as I was driving home, I noticed a slight vibration on the steering and that the car was pulling to the left. I didn’t worry about it too much and drove on. When I got home, I saw that one of the front tyres was almost flat. On closer inspection, I noticed that a nail had pierced the sidewall of the tyre, causing a slow puncture.

A tyre going flat from a nail puncture doesn’t happen overnight. In a slow puncture, the tyre loses pressure slowly over a number of days, which brings me to the lesson in this anecdote. Despite the best advances in technology and design, we still have to play our part in safety. I didn’t carry out the Circle of Safety [2], i.e. I didn’t walk around my car before starting the engine and driving off. If I had, I would definitely have noticed that the tyre was going flat and have avoided a potentially serious incident. Just imagine what could have happened if I had been taking a longer trip, at full speed, on the highway!

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

  1. Get together with your maintenance and operations teams to examine maintenance and non-routine operations tasks that involve a high degree of risk, e.g. potentially fatal situations like working at heights, lifting loads, working in confined spaces, lockouts, etc. This is like a HIRA (Hazard Identification Risk Assessment), except that it has a specific focus on design and plant and process reliability.
  2. It is best to man these teams with the people who “push the buttons and use the tools”. I’m not suggesting that you exclude the engineers, just that you apply a hands-on approach, rather than sticking to the boardroom / paper exercise.
  3. Keep it simple to start with and don’t fall into the trap of analysis paralysis by trying to redesign the entire process or machine. Look for opportunities for projects which involve minimal resources and can be done fairly quickly, yet still result in an immediate and visible improvement in safety [3].

[1]    “Prevention rather than cure

[2]    “Walking the Circle of Safety

[3]    “Just Do Something Safe

        “Ukuhlanya: Safety Paradox & Disruptive Safety

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D1STEM – The New Normal

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

THE NEW NORMAL:

For worse … or for better?

Picture: Quote: Steven Covey: Leave the world a better place

The senseless killing we have seen over the last couple of years seems to be getting worse and worse. Now anyone (even teenagers) with one or other ideology or grievance and a gun, knife or explosives seems to think it’s okay to follow these “acts of terror” examples that are being set by groups and lone wolves. I can’t predict the future, but I fear it’s going to get much, much worse before we see an end to it. I don’t think there’s an instant solution. Even world leaders are at a loss as to what to do.

As unfortunate and worrying as this situation is, it needs to be put into perspective. The reality is that, in spite of the horror, these attacks remain isolated and involve the killing of a few people, not unlike lightning strikes. Without in any way downplaying or ignoring the pain suffered by the families and friends of those affected, I have to say that the way the media report on these events, you’d think we’re dealing with hurricane Katrina, which, by the way, caused hundreds of deaths and untold destruction. I’m not an advocate of SABC-like censorship, but some “breaking news” broadcasts tend to distort our perception of reality and significance. Another example in this category are air crashes. The number of deaths caused there pales into insignificance when compared to the approximately 3,500 people killed daily, worldwide, on our roads [1]. That reality isn’t making the headlines often enough, which says to me that we have just grown to accept that this is the way it has to be.

I don’t believe there are magical solutions to any of these problems. However, I am a strong believer in concentrating on your circle of influence, rather than your circle of concern [2]. So, my link to safety is this: Let’s not spend too much time pondering and discussing what we can’t change. Rather, let’s focus on the “everyday” mass killers – the road accidents and fatigue, HIV/AIDS, TB, diabetes, malaria, stress and depression (suicides), and the like. These are wellness issues where we can make a difference, right now. With the right life skills training at schools, I’m confident that we can re-establish a culture of tolerance amongst our children. Let this be our “new normal”.

ACTION

This month, look into how much effort, time and money you are directing towards wellness education at your company and in your community. A little can go a long way to making a real difference and showing that you care. It’s also well within your circle of influence and nothing is stopping you from spending a good portion of your budget on wellness [3].

[1]  “Number of road traffic deaths”, WHO 2013 GHO Data.
[2]  “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey.
[3]  Green Card (recognition) goes out to Assmang Khumani Mine (and Susan Fourie in particular), for doing just that with their Peer Educator’s TB play.
[Picture]  Source: wikicourses.wikispaces.com

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SCnSP – Mirror, mirror on the wall

♦♦  SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Apr 2016

Do you use your safety mirror as a tool, or as a reflection of what you would like to see?

     

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL …

What is stopping me?

graphic depicting caller on the phone

     

Using a mirror in safety is nothing new. We’ve all seen the mirrors in toilets with the caption “Who is responsible for safety?”.

I’ve been using the metaphor of a mirror as a tool for many years. I hold up a mirror to the audience, asking them: “What do you see?“, followed by: “Is it good or is it bad and who is responsible?” [1]

I also use my ‘What Is Stopping Me‘ (WISM) Mirror to challenge people to look into the mirror and ask themselves that question! And what’s the answer? Usually, people will say “time”, or, “money”, or, often, both will be cited. But these are resource issues. The reality is that it is really a question of importance and priorities: you will always choose to spend time and money on things that are important to you.

There is of course another use for mirrors.
“Most people can’t resist a mirror. It makes the wait for an elevator more palatable, and we can’t help checking – how do I look? In many ways, though, this is futile, because we can never know how we look through other people’s eyes. Even the best quality mirror tells you very little. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to focus on this sort of grooming if you want to understand what customers or friends (or employees or leaders) are going to see. Far better to watch what they do.” [2]

This holds especially true for you as a safety professional. Are you looking into the safety mirror to see how your safety is doing? You should be rather spending time on your feet, talking to people. ‘Look to see’. The perception of employees and the leaders, is what you should be seeing.

ACTION

Take a good look, to see, how you are using your safety mirror? Do you use your mirror as a tool, or as a reflection of what you would like to see?

[1]    “How to put a face on safety

[2]    “The Foggy Mirror

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GM – World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2012

WORLD  DAY  for  SAFETY  and  HEALTH  at  WORK
28 April 2012
Mar 2012

 

Theme:

 Green Jobs:
Promoting Safety and Health
in a Green Economy

 The ILO celebrates its annual ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work’ on 28 April to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on emerging trends in the field of occupational safety and health and on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities worldwide.

It is also the day in which the world’s trade union movement holds its International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers to honour the memory of victims of occupational accidents and diseases …

… In many parts of the world, national authorities, trade unions, employers’ organizations and safety and health practitioners organize activities to celebrate this date. We [the ILO] invite you to join us in celebrating this significant day and share with us the activities you organize. 

  This year’s theme

 … There is a shift in the world to a greener and more sustainable economy. However, even if certain jobs are considered to be “green”, the technologies used may protect the environment but not be safe at all.

… A true green job must integrate safety and health into design, procurement, operations, maintenance, sourcing and recycling policies, certification systems and OSH quality standards. This is especially relevant for sectors such as construction, waste recycling, solar energy production and biomass processing. 

Content courtesy of ILO.
More information is available on their website.

ON OFFER

If you’re planning to commemorate this day, why not download a free copy of my guide: 10 Most Common Mistakes Made When Organising an Event.

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SCnSP – Power of the List

♦♦  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. Today I remind you of a habit you shouldn’t allow to die.

Power of the List

(Urgent vs Important – The Story of Priorities)

graphic detailing points of wisdom regarding habits

“  The next thing you do today will be the most important thing on your agenda, because, after all, you’re doing it next. Well, perhaps it will be the most urgent thing. Or the easiest. In fact, the most important thing probably isn’t even on your agenda.  ”  —  Seth Godin, The Most Important Thing

I fully agree with this statement.

We have stopped using lists, in particular To Do lists. Nowadays, with computers and smart phones, what we should do often gets lost due to information overload / noise. Despite the conveniences and wonderful tools and apps these machines provide, information is getting ‘lost’ and no longer visible. We allow their power to disable us – we rely on machines which are not able to think (at least not yet!).

The power of lists lies in the “3 F‘s”:

Writing out a list forces us to Focus on what is important and has to be done next.
A list, used effectively, compels us to Finish what we start.
We get Fulfilment from ‘crossing out’ completed items.

All of these are highly visible, making keeping lists a most worthwhile habit to cultivate.
Using lists requires the habits of discipline and diligence. What is important is to keep the To Do list short, simple, relevant and realistic. Focus on the most important things you shouldn’t forget to do today. (Urgent matters will appear on your doorstep all on their own – you don’t have to keep a list for those!)

The same principles apply to checklists.

Would you want to fly in an aircraft where the team in the cockpit is not using pre-flight checklists that are simple, relevant and focused on the important things for take-off and a safe flight?

ACTION

  • Look at your personal habits of getting important things done and reconsider using the good old, tested and trusted To Do list.
  • Examine your “pre-flight” / start-up checklists. Do they focus on the critical items or are they complicated and cluttered with unnecessary information?

RELATED MATERIAL

Circle of safety

Who Am I? (Make it a habit)

Pen to Paper (Safety on a shoe string)

“Waiting at the Doctor’s – Time & Priorities” – from the book Life EduAction by Jürgen Tietz

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