Search Results for: Stepping Stones

D1STEM – Your Safety Monument


If you do just one thing a month to change the safety mind-set, in one year you will have done 12 things to raise safety awareness. Every month you will receive one such SAFETY TIP.


Safety is an ongoing journey, along stepping stones, towards your goal. A safety monument is a practical and visual way to get the message across that every person’s involvement is important and required in order to achieve that goal.

It can be a wall, or a path, as long as the stones remain visible.

Stepping stones to safety

I favour a “pathway of stepping stones”, taking you towards your goal. And whether a path or a wall or some other monument is used, what is KEY is the concept of involving all employees by getting them to bring one stone from home to add their bit to SAFETY at their place of work. They can even write their names on their stone.

To make it a living monument, this could become part of the new employee safety induction, where each new employee brings a stone to add to the path or wall.

This could be taken even further by involving the Safety Reps in shaping and owning this process and keeping it alive – give them Einspruchsrecht[1].

[1]   Einspruchsrecht = inspraaksreg = the right to partake in a decision.


Isibopho whistle and green card - safety - recognition

… goes out to Francois Du Toit of Sasol Polymers for the idea of building a safety monument out of stones.
… and also to Trevor Naicker and Gert Kriel who built on the idea and came up with the concept of making it a wall or a pathway, so that the stones remain visible and a person can point to “his” / “her” stone.


Get loads more SAFETY TIPS when you buy my KNOCK-OUT SAFETY TIPS! CD from my DIY SAFETY COOL TOOL™ range of products. More info available here.

Ask me about the ISIBOPHO Whistle and Red-Green Cards.


As always, I welcome your comments and feedback!

Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
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GM – SAFETY FEVER! – Let Nature Guide You


When I stood in the garden this morning, I marvelled at nature’s awesome ability to renew itself. Nature shows us the power of taking a rest in winter, of cutting out dead wood and shedding leaves and converting it all to compost. Nature puts all its energy into new growth, into refreshing the environment with a splendour of colour and fragrance, getting everyone excited and engaged in life once more.



— Let Nature Guide You —

There are important safety lessons to be learnt from nature’s spring spectacle: Take a rest. Consolidate what you already have in place. Go back to basics. Make sure the foundation is sound. This is an audit approach with a twist.

I am not an advocate for spring cleaning because I believe that one should clean up after each job and on a daily basis. Neither do I support the ‘spring fever’ approach – a BIG fanfare, with lots of paper & posters and little ACTION. These often are a ‘flavour of the month’ and short lived. What you do need is a program of stepping stones for the coming season.

Spring is in the air

Doing novel and unique things as part of your program of stepping stones will make a sustainable difference. Vigorously add freshness and colour and get everyone engaged. Hold work stoppages to show your employees that leaders are serious about safety. Celebrate your safety champions and share the pockets of excellence throughout the year, not only during spring time!

Cut out dead wood. Purposefully search for those systems and procedures which are no longer relevant, or which never served a purpose in the first place, or where there is too much complexity. Keep it SIMPLE.

Talk and listen to the people who you expect to follow your rules, procedures and standards. Give them “Einspruchsrecht”(a). Check if employees understand, accept and adhere to rules, procedures and standards. Make sure your book of rules does not merely serve as shelf decoration.


Nothing will get done unless you make it a full time job, make somebody (like one of your safety officials) responsible for getting rid of deadwood and for setting up a timetable to review all safety systems, procedures, rules and critical job instructions. Give those who are affected by all of these the right to partake in decisions which affect them. This goes way beyond the traditional job observation approach.

The appointed person should also identify gaps and shortcomings of existing operations which should be embraced by suitable safeguards. The overall purpose should be to SIMPLIFY, not to add to the complexity, rules or regulations.

(a)  Einspruchsrecht”  =  A person’s right to partake in decisions which affect him/her.


Safety on a Shoestring Budget – Addressing Problems

Safety as a Value

Safety for Safety’s Sake


Your feedback and comments are always welcome! Drop me a line!

Copyright: Jürgen Tietz

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SCnSP – Action Speaks Louder Than Words

Apr 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.


Action Speaks Louder Than Words

Picture: Toolbox


I always say to people:

There is nothing which moves people more than ACTION
and nothing which is more powerful
than prompt, pro-active ACTION.

I then follow this up with:

Talking about the smart tools you have in your toolbox
is not the same as getting the job done.

We are masters at being re-active, especially when we have problems or if the old system / plan is not delivering results. We are good at:

  • Setting up too many initiatives and thrusts and over complicating things.
  • Talking and making new plans or setting up new systems.
  • Writing new policies and procedures.
  • Putting things on papers or posters (just a piece of paper).

Many years back, I had a mentor Jan Lys, who was a real “Staatmaker” (a person you can depend on). He taught me the following piece of wisdom:

Be the master of your deeds,
not the slave of your words.

Many of us are poor at:

  • Taking ACTION, pro-active ACTION – doing and implementing and measuring progress / results.
  • Breaking plans down into small doable stepping stones with milestones.
  • Communicating and engaging people and giving feedback.
  • Completing / finishing – “It’s done when you’re finished; it’s complete when it doesn’t come back to bite you for 5 years” Thomas Leonard
  • Perseverance, sticking to the basics and improving on the results.
  • Making our change efforts lead to real, sustainable transformation.


In line with what I am preaching, here is something for you to do, but only if you are serious about taking ACTION.

Design a survey, best in the form of a ballot paper, to ask all your people what they think about the ACTION you are taking in safety.

It is most important that you ask those people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’, as they see the ACTION taken where it counts, namely where the rubber hits the road. Ask them to be brutally honest with you. Keep it simple and only identify whether the feedback is from a ‘player’ or a ‘coach’ and from which area or function.

When you are done, follow the 3 F approach – Feedback, Fast, and Fair. Tell your people what the results of the ballot are and, most importantly, what you are going to do about it = ACTION you are going to take!


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