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SoSSB 10P 05 Problems

♦ SERIES ♦♦   SAFETY ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET   ♦♦ SERIES ♦

PROBLEMS

Safety Tip #5 in the series

  ◊  PREVENTION   ◊  PURPOSE
  ◊  PREPARATION   ◊  PEOPLE
  ♦  PROBLEMS   ◊  PAT-ON-BACK
  ◊  PLAN   ◊  PROGRESS
  ◊  PEN-TO-PAPER   ◊  PRO-ACTIVE

The purpose of this series is to give struggling-but-eager SHE professionals and practitioners, who are working for financially-constrained companies, pointers on how to get the safety awareness message across to both management and workers, on a shoestring budget.

Today’s topic, PROBLEMS, highlights the importance of understanding why a PROBLEM CULTURE exists & why employees take SHORTCUTS.

“What you don’t know won’t hurt you.”NOT!
When it comes to safety, chances are that it WILL hurt you in the long run!

We need a culture of openness, disclosure and opportunity-seeking, leading to PRO-ACTIVE HELP, NOT PUNISHMENT. (The latter compels people to hide their problems.)

The people who “push the buttons and use the tools” and their managers know what their safety problems are. ASK them to show / share these with you. Ask them to tell you WHY they are doing what they are doing, be it taking shortcuts, breaking the rules, or other problem behaviour.

SHORTCUTS

The reality is that people invariably look for ways and means to make their jobs easier, lighter, more comfortable. We humans are driven by pain and pleasure i.e. less pain and more pleasure. 🙂

Sometimes the rules aren’t practical, because they have been drawn up by people in offices who don’t understand / know the situation at ground zero.

Sometimes it is a case of ignorance or of ‘tata ma chance’.

SHE Policy vs Tata ma Chance?

PRO-ACTIVE HELP

OFFER TO HELP (and I don’t mean help in the form of a report documenting what they already know!)
EXPLAIN the consequences of taking shortcuts / breaking the rules … “do you know what … if … ?”.

If you would like a copy of the story “Walk Smarter, Not Harder”,
you can request it here.
Want to comment on this SIMPLY SMART SAFETY™ Tip or share your insights with me?
You are more than welcome to do so here.
© Copyright:Jürgen Tietz

SCnSP – Without A Safety Clue

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Mar 2018
     

Without a Safety Clue

(Urgent vs Important)

Habits and planning

     

A sailboat without a sail might float. For a long time, in fact.
But without a sail, it can’t go anywhere, can’t fulfill its function.
Floating is insufficient. [1]

This brilliant little statement clearly defines the difference between success and failure in any endeavour, but especially in SAFETY. Good safety is not merely compliance, which is the bare minimum (floating). Good safety requires making time for the IMPORTANT stuff (setting your sails), i.e. making time for ACTIONS which will make a difference, which will grow the team, which are PRO-ACTIVE. Successful teams have developed the HABIT of doing this really well. Efficient teams know how to deal with the urgent stuff, quickly and effectively, so as to make time for constantly moving safety to a new level – to a DISRUPTIVE SAFETY™ level. By the way, educating and empowering your H&S Reps is part of “setting the sails”.

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

  • Ask a simple question: “Is this urgent or is it important?”
    Don’t fall into the trap of labelling everything as urgent and important!
  • The acid test is another simple question: “So what?” … So what if this doesn’t get done today, now, or not at all?
    If you don’t have a convincing answer to this question, it might be urgent, but definitely not important.
  • Finally, ask: “Is this a new problem or is it an old problem?”
    Old problems tend to appear to be urgent simply because they have never been dealt with in an easy way!
    Be ruthless with old problems – kill them once and for all.

Our handbook, The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide, deals with this important habit in a number of topics.

[1]   Godin, Seth. “Without a Sail”, May 2017. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/05/without-a-sail.html

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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]

ESSENTIAL LINKS

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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]

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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SpEd_CA – Year-end Message (2016)


 ⁂
 ⁂⁂
 ⁂⁂⁂

✨✨✨   YEAR-END MESSAGE   ✨✨✨

 ⁂
 ⁂⁂
 ⁂⁂⁂

Dec 2016

Be Prepared

Picture: Year-end Call to Action

Thinking ahead to 2017

     

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Before you go on holiday or kick into holiday mode, make a short list of those things you would work on or complete this year if you had an extra month at your disposal.

Take this list and paste it on your whiteboard, notice board or some other place where you will see it when you get back. This is the list you should start working on right away in 2017.

Picture: Getting it done

Thank you for accompanying me on my journey through 2016.

I look forward to sharing 2017 with you … it’s going to be a year of change and growth and rocking the “safety boat”. Take care and stay safe until then.

May all the blessings of Christmas be yours (even if you don’t celebrate it) …
Jürgen & the eKhuluma team

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The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide

 

Picture: The Safety Rep's Survival Guide

The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide is a unique tool
in the form of a handbook with supporting material
which transforms passive H&S Reps
into passionate and active H&S Reps
by means of education and empowerment.

In a world of disruptive change
we need Disruptive Safety™.

To reduce incidents and prevent injuries
we bring you the whY factor
to move the ELEPHANT
to get your people to own safety
by engaging in the Just Doing Something Safe™ daily habit.

This D.I.Y. handbook is the solution to the industry-wide problem of H&S Reps not playing a meaningful, proactive role in safety.

Picture: The Safety Rep's Survival GuidePicture: The Safety Rep's Survival Guide

  • 10 sections, covering 88 topics, including how to be an H&S Rep, the law in English, self-help, being proactive, behaviour, teamwork and problem-solving, in over 200 pages.
  • Fully illustrated with 80 full colour high-quality drawings, using ANTZI, the metaphor of the ant.
  • Fun, interesting, educational, empowering.
  • Written in easy to understand English, with an extensive glossary, FAQ, self-test questions and a facilitation guide.
  • Access to a web site with over 100 “How To” guidelines.

 

 

For more information or to order this indispensable handbook:

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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GM – World Safety and Health Day at Work 2016

++  WORLD HEALTH  &  SAFETY AT WORK DAY  +  28 April 2016  ++
Mar 2016

What is your total cost of absenteeism? I know one of your dashboard figures is most probably injuries and damages, but subtract that from the total cost of absenteeism, and you’ll find that the remainder is the cost of wellness. Now you might say: “That’s not my problem, that’s HR’s problem”, but you’d be wrong. There’s a direct link between safety and wellness: employee health -> productivity -> injuries -> absenteeism  [1].

     

WORKPLACE STRESS:

A Collective Challenge

graphic depicting workplace stress

     

Some stats:

  • Absenteeism costs the SA economy around R12-16 billion per year.
  • On average 15-30% of staff could be absent on any given day. Take your annual salary bill and do the sums!
  • One day’s absence can cost a company 3 days’ worth of salary  [2].
  • 2 out of 3 employees who fail to show up for work aren’t physically ill. There are a whole host of reasons  [2], with stress and sleep disorders being the “top cause of lost work time”.

The theme for the upcoming World Safety and Health Day, on 28 April 2016, is:

graphic showing World Day for Safety and Health at Work - 28 April 2016

The abstract below, from the ILO site  [3], details the issue of stress very nicely. Your HR / Wellness people should be able to relate to this:

Today, many workers are facing greater pressure to meet the demands of modern working life. Psychosocial risks such as increased competition, higher expectations on performance and longer working hours are contributing to the workplace becoming an ever more stressful environment. With the pace of work dictated by instant communications and high levels of global competition, the lines separating work from life are becoming more and more difficult to identify. In addition, due to the significant changes labour relations and the current economic recession, workers are experiencing organizational changes and restructuring, reduced work opportunities, increasing precarious work , the fear of losing their jobs, massive layoffs and unemployment and decreased financial stability, with serious consequences to their mental health and well-being.

And it’s not only in the office but also in the plants, as highlighted in David’s story in the DHHS publication, “Stress at Work”  [4]:

The nature of work is changing at whirlwind speed. Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health organizations. For weeks David had been plagued by aching muscles, loss of appetite, restless sleep, migraine headaches and a complete sense of exhaustion. At first he tried to ignore these problems, but eventually he became so short-tempered and irritable that his wife insisted he get a check-up. He told the doctor: ‘Since the reorganization, nobody feels safe. It used to be that as long as you did your work, you had a job. That’s not for sure anymore. They expect the same production rates even though two guys are now doing the work of three. We’re so backed up I’m working twelve-hour shifts six days a week. I swear I hear those machines humming in my sleep. Guys are calling in sick just to get a break. Morale is so bad they’re talking about bringing in some consultants to figure out a better way to get the job done.’

ACTION

Here is your chance to do something about safety and health in your workplace.

I’m not putting any pressure on you (just giving you a gentle push) … 28 April is around the corner.  It’s an ideal opportunity for you to call me in to do my presentation addressing Safety and Workplace Stress. I’m your guy!  [5]

[1]   “Absenteeism Management“, OCSA

[2]   “Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace“, Forbes

[3]   ILO: World Day for Safety & Health at Work

[4]   “Stress at Work“, CDC, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 99-101

[5]   Re-energise & sustain your safety, health & wellness efforts

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SCnSP – Keep It Smartly Simple

♦♦  SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Nov 2015

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.

Keep It Smartly Simple in 3 steps.

Smartly Simple Solutions

(Just Do Something Safe™ and Action)

For six years I studied mathematics, physics, chemistry, machine design and some more fancy subjects like hydraulics and thermodynamics. So, when you give me a problem to solve, my mind kicks into engineering mode and I start designing a complex solution. To implement these engineering gizmos requires resources, one of them being time, which I normally don’t have. The result: a delay of weeks, sometimes even months to get something simple done.

picture depicting gears and cogs

Here are two examples.

Problem 1

New kittens which were crawling underneath a wooden bench in the kitchen and messing there.

My solution:
Buy some planks, screws, glue and varnish to close the gap. A 4-hour undertaking.

My wife’s solution:
Just wrap a few bricks in plastic and shove them into the gap. A 10-minute job.

Problem 2

A row of roses which needed frequent watering.

My solution:
Buy some irrigation pipes, sprayers and valves, plus build a terrace to cater for the sloping ground. A weekend job.

My gardener’s solution:
Tie a redundant plastic pipe to the trellises with cable ties, punch a few holes in the right places and hook the pipe up with a quick connector to the existing hose pipe. A 1-hour job.

My gardener is a true reflection of what it means to be a PDI. He would have been an excellent, practical technician, if he had just had the opportunity / financial support years back.

ACTION

Ask those people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’ how to solve a problem that affects their work area. They will come up with Simply Smart (and Smartly Simple) solutions!

Go for a Just Do Something Safe™ culture.

  Ask  —  Listen  —  Do  

graphic depicting Asking Listening Acting

Get your teams / plants to solve their own safety problems. Remove the red tape and jumping through hoops of standards and procedures. Your job should be to make sure people can help themselves, doing what is within their means and can be completed within days, without taking short cuts and chances.

Action Involves Doing Something[1], but it excludes putting off the solution until later, because that kills the enthusiasm and tempo for improvement. This is one of the main reasons why most suggestion schemes don’t work very well.

[1]   Cindy Pivacic #CindyHIV

RELATED READING

Ukuhlanya: Safety Paradox & Disruptive Safety

Your Safety Dream

Listen With Your Eyes

Some Good Advice

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