Search Results for: Rules

SM – Mother’s Rules

♦♦♦    SAFETY MATTERS    ♦♦♦
Aug 2009
     

Mother’s Rules

     

The term health, safety and environment (HS&E) is used widely. We appoint HS&E, SHE, or H&S Representatives, but the quality of the ‘H’ component of our management systems is often very low.

At some of the companies that I have visited, heath and hygiene does not really feature in the agenda or the actions of management, representatives or workers, except in the HS&E policy pasted on the walls.

Would you like to be operated on in a hospital where the ‘H’ does not feature? I often see personal protective equipment (PPE) that could not protect the wearer and has even become a health risk in itself!

This self-imposed risk is especially true for the way that some workers treat their disposable PPE, like disposable ear plugs, disposable dust masks and gloves. Imagine your surgeon using soiled rubber gloves and contaminated face masks. Or imagine re-using condoms. No surgeon and no informed worker would do such things, yet some workers used soiled respirators and breathe contaminated air into their lungs!

disposable dust mask being reused

Workers should take good care of all their PPE. Disposable PPE should not be stored once it becomes dirty. Workers, supervisors, managers and HS&E specialists should discuss the long-term health risks of exposure to hazards like dust, bright light, low light, noise and hazardous chemicals. Where they do not have enough reliable information, they should call on specialists to provide information. Suppliers, hygienists and occupational health staff would be glad to assist.

Where workers, supervisors, managers and specialists find that they do not all agree on the nature or level of the risk, or on the best course for preventing loss, they should likewise call on specialists and investigate the occupational health issues until they reach agreement at all levels of the organisation.

Ten House Rules

To help raise awareness about health and hygiene, ‘H’, I use a cake of soap with Mother’s Rules printed on the wrapping:

Mother's Rules

These are basic ‘house rules’ about health that everyone should have learnt at home. Everyone, except mothers, tends to forget the rules from time to time. Perhaps mothers like repeating these rules because only fools would argue with them! Workers are legally obliged to follow health and hygiene rules.

Employers, like mothers, have many obligations too. Employers have to assess health risks and supply the soap and other appropriate cleaning material. They have to ensure a work environment free from health risks.

Health and hygiene management may be a matter of minor or mildly serious infections at home, but at work it could be a matter of serious infection, fatal exposure, or long-term exposure resulting in chronic disease.

Mothers use common sense to train young people how to avoid hazards at home. At work, the hazards are larger, more complex and there are more of them. Workers should not make the mistake of believing that common sense alone will save them from harm.

Employers have to make a special and continuous effort to find hazards, assess the risk to workers and visitors, make workers aware of the pathways of exposure, teach them how to avoid harm and provide the right PPE at the places and times where some exposure cannot be avoided.

Workers have the legal obligation to learn and follow these occupational health procedures. Where workers ‘forget’ or ignore the ‘house rules’, employers are dutybound to use discipline – in the spirit of love – just like mothers do!

Full PPE (1)Full PPE (2)

Operators wearing full PPE

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SM – Can behaviour and habits be unlearned?

♦♦♦    SAFETY MATTERS    ♦♦♦
Aug 2018
     

Behaviour and Habits

you can teach an old dog new tricks

     

There is a misconception in “safety” circles that poor or unsafe behaviour or habits can be “unlearned”. Untrue. The sad reality is that, once your brain has made the links and formed the pattern, i.e. you have mastered the skill or developed the habit, it’s there to stay.

Trying to wipe out a behaviour or habit is like trying to “unlearn” a language, talking, or walking. You can’t. What you can do is to learn a new skill / behaviour / habit and work on the triggers which will make it dominant, so that your brain automatically chooses that new skill / behaviour / habit. For a while, this will entail a conscious effort to suppress the old one. If you “get on the OLD bike”, the old skill / behaviour / habit will come back to you.

The saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not true, but it is much harder to “overwrite the old tricks”.

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SpEd_CA H&S Rep Seminar – Apr 2018

♦♦  SAVE THE DATE!  ♦♦
17-18 April 2018

Save the date

The Disruptive Safety Antzi’s are at it again, bringing you the

Not Just Any H&S Rep Training

Who’s it for?

Everyone who wants to own their workplace safety.

What makes it different?

Exactly that. If you’ve had enough of relying only on legislation, rules, regulations and procedures, if you’re ready to step up to the plate and make your workplace safety an everyday reality, practical and effective – then we’re the ones to show you how to make it happen.

When?

17-18 April 2018

Where?

Birchwood Conference Venue and Hotel

Want to know more?

Visit our website

Ready to register?

Complete the registration form and send it to us.

Jürgen and Natalie

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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]

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SM – Site Colonoscopy

♦♦♦    SAFETY MATTERS    ♦♦♦
     

Site Colonoscopy

When last did you conduct one?

     

Without exception, all companies have the capital E for environment in their SHE abbreviation for their safety efforts, but are they serious about the E? The E sounds good in the safety policy and looks smart on the wall, but when last did you conduct a plant colonoscopy? How frequently do you go to the backend of your process, there where the waste and effluent spew out? Normally only the janitors, cleaners and contract waste removal companies see that part of your operation. We are good at shifting the burden of looking after the environment onto someone else – let them deal with our ‘nasties’ and we merely pay the price.

Conducting a plant colonoscopy means starting at the back and looking at what and how much waste and effluent, including gaseous effluent, we generate and, particularly, at how safe and clean these handling facilities are. Often they are a real mess, because these facilities are seen as a necessary evil that we do not want to waste our money on. A colonoscopy also means flushing out the whole system by taking a good look at drains, bunds, drip trays, drain valves and pumps, filters, bins and silos. Are these fit for purpose in effectively catching or separating the waste and effluent? Look for spillages and leakages and track where these are routed to.

Do you accept waste and effluent as part of the process? How much effort is put into reducing off-cuts, run-offs and spillages, or at least collecting and reusing them in the process? We allow people to use the hose pipe to wash stuff down the drains. Do you recycle materials outside your own process? Collecting and recycling paper, plastics, glass, metal and oil is a simple matter of attitude and some bins and containers, often provided by the recycling companies.

We are all responsible for protecting the environment, not only at work, but at home as well. If you mess, you clean up. We should all re-duce, re-use, re-cycle and prevent waste and effluent in the first place.

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SpEd_CA – H&S Rep Workshop Mar 2018

♦♦  SAVE THE DATE!  ♦♦

Save the date

The Disruptive Safety Antzi’s are at it again and this time they’re bringing you the

Not Just Any H&S Rep Training

Who’s it for?

Everyone who wants to own their workplace safety.

What makes it different?

Exactly that. If you’ve had enough of relying only on legislation, rules, regulations and procedures, if you’re ready to step up to the plate and make your workplace safety an everyday reality, practical and effective – then we’re the ones to show you how to make it happen.

When?

6-7 March 2018

Where?

Birchwood Conference Venue and Hotel

Want to know more?

Get the information leaflet (which includes the registration form).

Ready to register?

Complete the registration form and send it to us.

ps. There’s an early bird discount, so don’t waste any time!

Jürgen and Natalie

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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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SCnSP – Are you a safety professional?

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Jan 2017
     

Are you a Safety Professional?

Your bookshelf reveals all

Picture: The Safety Rep's Bookshelf

     

As a student, I was in residence with the De Vynck family. To this day, I still remember Dr. de Vynck’s study vividly. Two of the walls were covered with bookshelves from floor to ceiling and the shelves were filled with books. The study smelt like a library – it had the smell of knowledge and wisdom. But this was not just a pretty display of books. Dr. de Vynck had read them all. He could pull a book off the shelf, open it and quote a relevant section on the topic under discussion. He was a true professional.

What does your bookshelf look like?

Maybe I should first have asked if you have a bookshelf and, if yes, what does it say about you? Have you read the books, or are you merely practising ‘shelf-development’? When I meet people for the first time, I prefer to do it at their offices so that I can look at what is on the walls and what is on the bookshelves – to see who they are. This picture, to me, speaks volumes! By the way, I always start my inspections with the safety manager’s office!

What have you written?

I’m not talking about rules and procedures, standards and instructions, or emails. What I mean is: What insights and observations, in safety, have you made and shared with other people, on a regular basis? There is nothing that deepens your understanding of something more than when you share it in writing!

My third question

How would you feel if your doctor, lawyer, engineer or any other professional who provides you with a personal service, didn’t stay up to date with the latest developments in his field of expertise by, amongst other things, reading books (by ‘books’ I also mean articles, magazines and the like)?

If your answers are negative, then you need to ask yourself if you are truly a Safety Professional, especially if you work in a consultative role. Now I know we all have valid reasons as to why we can’t read or write ‘books’. Time is always at the top of the excuse list even though we always manage to make time for what is important to us. If self-development is important to you, you will make time to read and write.

On bookshelves

Instead of the traditional bookshelf, you could go for a digital bookshelf, i.e. have articles of interest, videos and images, especially photos, stored on your computer. These should be filed in such a way that any one of them can be easily found when you want to refer back to it. This is what I call good digital housekeeping, with ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’. I have over 14,000 photos, 42,000 files, all named and catalogued in some 2200 folders. I can find information at the click of a button, when using my search function. It goes without saying that, in order to build up an online library, you have to read and write online. There are many platforms to do this effectively and LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Alerts are just a few.

By the way … I practise what I preach. This article was inspired by one of Seth Godin’s posts [1].

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

  • Take a look around your office now and make a call about your ‘bookshelf’.
  • Look at your online library. Is it a bin or is it a labelled filing cabinet?
  • Write or share something now, preferably adding your own, fresh insights. Make it a habit, not a flash in the pan.

[1]   Seth Godin, “Fully Baked”. 2016.

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SCnSP – Safety Is Not A Game

♦♦  SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Jul 2016
     

Safety Is Not A Game

How are you pushing safety?

Picture: Give a thumbs up or pat on the back for a job well done

     

Work, especially in terms of safety, should not be seen as a game, with the key components of goals, rules, challenges, interaction and with mostly luck as a basis to create fun.

Unfortunately, I still see many, many companies treat safety that way. They run competitions and use safety results as if safety performance were a race with records to be broken. They hold year-end functions congratulating the winners, holding up the best of this and the best of that. The perceived implication, of course, is that all others are losers, although it is never put that way.

Companies need to look at the types of safety incentives they use and the unspoken message this sends to their people. To me, the most powerful way to motivatestimulate and inspire safe behaviour is by recognition and prompt feedback.

Establish a culture of ongoing recognition and incentives, not once a year or only when records are broken or only for the b-i-g achievements. The “green card” technique gives recognition, immediately, to the person observed doing the right and safe thing. Be VFL’s (Visible Felt Leaders) by making recognition visible and felt now, not later!

Keep a close eye on what is motivating you to give recognition – there’s a fine line between appreciation and manipulation and people are able to pick up really quickly on false praise.

ACTION

Giving recognition isn’t complicated and yet it is so powerful as it helps to create a motivating climate, but it does take time and effort:

  • Establish ownership.
  • Find at least one person you can give recognition to on each of your walkabouts, by searching for things done right or well.
  • Tell that person what they did right and that it has been noticed.
  • Encourage that person to keep up the good work.
  • Do it in the presence of the co-workers and supervisor.

RELATED READING

Your Safety Monument

How to Implement Your Safety Dream

Lessons From Cats

The Power of Gold

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SCnSP – Why Are People Making ‘Stupid Mistakes’?

♦♦  SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Feb 2016

WHY ARE PEOPLE MAKING
‘STUPID MISTAKES’?

(Why we do what we do)

graphic depicting the word mistake crossed out

I suppose it is tempting,
if the only tool you have is a hammer,
to treat everything as if it were a nail.

— Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being

     

One of the most frequent comments I get when talking to people about safety is: “Why are people making stupid mistakes?”. In many people’s minds this then extends to the (illogical) conclusion that people who make mistakes are stupid.

Apart from being a generalisation and over-simplification of a complex behavioural issue, one which often leads to stereotyping, it also shines a light on the power of the made up mind.

When we assume that the mistake was stupid, we are ourselves making the first mistake. Until we have established why people did what they did, is it really a mistake or the result of a genuine effort to do the right thing which did not work out as intended?

There are many reasons why things are done differently at the ‘sharp end’ and these are often overlooked when we try and find the cause of a ‘deviation’:

  • We are thinking humans with reason, memories and moods
  • We make adjustments to stay on course, but things can still go wrong
  • A mis- (wrong) take is a behaviour and not a personality trait
  • There is no one size fits all – some are more prone to making mistakes than others
  • We all take risks, the level varying over time and with mood
  • We don’t always read people and situations correctly
  • We are good at finding mistakes, especially in hindsight, and at blaming others
  • Our schooling is based on marking papers by finding mistakes
  • There are many kinds of intelligence and people who are seen to make stupid mistakes in one domain are often highly intelligent in another respect – IQ, EQ, NS … whatever “quotients” or “smarts” you want to use  [1].

That being said, it cannot be denied that there are some actions which are avoidable:

  • Lack of awareness and making assumptions
  • Lack of care for others and property
  • Bad analysis and being willfully ignorant
  • Taking ‘lazy’ shortcuts without thinking about what we are doing
  • Allowing ourselves to be distracted
  • Allowing worry and fear to cloud our judgement
  • Not making time to stop and think about the consequences of our actions
  • Too much haste and too much noise to see clearly

ACTION

  1. Be careful before blaming ‘the PEOPLE factor’ – don’t assume the person / people made a mistake. Without people making adjustments and controlling processes, virtually nothing in this world would function on its own
  2. Don’t look for and label things which do not conform to your standards as a ‘mistake’ or ‘near miss’.
  3. Shift your mindset from ‘preventing things from going wrong’ (re-active) to ‘ensuring things go right’ (pro-active). This is in line with ‘catch people doing the right thing’ and giving recognition  [2].
  4. Encourage and reward employees to share what they have to do or adjust to ensure ‘things go right’ (production, quality, costs, etc.), especially when the rules don’t work and no one is looking or checking up.

[1]    Types of intelligence (smarts) – Nature / Musical / Number / Reasoning / Existential / People / Self / Body / Word / Picture

[2]    Safety I & Safety II by Erik Hollnagel

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