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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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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

ESSENTIAL LINKS

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

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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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D1STEM – Prevention rather than cure

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

I like to “Keep it simple” and this is often part of my advice. For this month’s activity, I strongly recommend you do keep it simple or else you may find yourself caught in analysis paralysis.

Prevention
Rather Than Cure

Think. Accidents are avoidable.

Analyse your safety efforts – how much of it is policing, rather than pro-active prevention and improvement?

A good safety approach constitutes a balance between systems and procedures, safety equipment and people’s actions and behaviour. Compliance and corrective action are less effective than prevention and pro-active action.

Improve the design and operation of safety efforts to reduce the remaining risk, before an incident forces you to do it.

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SCnSP – Ukuhlanya

♦♦♦  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. It’s time to tackle the  safety dilemma / paradox  of our times with a  disruptive approach to safety.

UKUHLANYA[1]

(Safety Paradox and Disruptive Safety)

How do you review your Safety Plan?

Let me give you some essential background before I suggest the actions.

It started when I realised that, for most of our plans, it is a case of insanity i.e. doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result[2].

Expectations have changed drastically, both for employers and employees. Employers expect more skills and competencies and at the same time more engagement and contribution from employees. Employees want more freedom in how they fulfil those expectations. It’s time to “acknowledge that the old method of productivity, of being a good employee by obediently doing what you are told, is obsolete. Our job is to figure out what’s next and to bring the ideas and resources to the table to make it happen.”[3]

graphic depicting lack of einspruchsrecht i.e. consultation

In addition, people have a much shorter attention span in these times of hashtags, selfies, iPhones and iPads. We have distorted the priority scale with the habit of responding immediately to the ring / tweet / vibration of the hand-held device. We have developed an attitude of “I want it and I want it now!” and people’s behaviour has changed accordingly. People are tired of posters, pamphlets and papers. The old systems of toolbox talks, presentations and preaching procedures no longer work that well. There is a new generation of employees who demand “einspruchsrecht”[4] and full engagement.

The Safety Dilemma.

In this age of disruptive change, we have to do things better, faster, cheaper and safer or risk going out of business. We have to have people on board who think and create safety improvements. We have to let them experiment – try it, fix it and make it work. We have to make information-enabling technology available so as to free them up to do what they do best, like thinking, creating, etc. The technology must engender independence not dependence, dependence being when you get what I call the “auto pilot syndrome” = pilots who can no longer fly themselves out of an emergency.

At the same time, we want people to manage the risks and to not take chances. We want people to look-to-see and listen-to-hear. So, we have to enforce our cardinal or lifesaving rules and, in the process, pile on a myriad of procedures, instructions and standards. For example, to avoid traffic accidents, keep to the left, drive a road worthy vehicle, be a competent, licensed driver and obey the road signs are non-negotiable!

Ultimately, for most, safety becomes a compliance issue: measure injury rates, deviations from procedures, near ‘misses’, non-compliant behaviour, etc. When the fear-based compliance manifests, we are unhappy. We want people to do the right thing because it is the safe thing to do, not because they’re going to be caught and / or fined.

We want to keep it safe and simple but we still need to be in control. It is a tough balance to strike.

Control contains a peculiar paradox.
The more you impose control, the less control you have,
because it removes accountability from someone who should own the responsibility in the first place
.”[5]

The Safety Plan.

In most organizations, there is a fear of failure and thus things take too long, changes are analysed to death, projects are too intimidating and the approval levels are far too high up the hierarchy. The end result is that people get ‘busy’ with activities like meetings, investigations, proposals, etc. which do not actually produce an outcome. At the end of the day, the “big change” project on the safety plan just gets stuck – the ‘elephant’ cannot move, despite the best efforts of the ‘rider’. The ‘path’ becomes muddied.[6]

To get around this, we need to shrink the changes into smaller, bite sizes and rally the herd to drive safety forward. If we can invent, launch and complete projects in days, instead of weeks or months, its way more likely that these projects will be more relevant at the plant / team level.

If you want your employees to get enthusiastic about safety, give them something ‘they can take home’ and be proud of = something they accomplished. One hundred small projects, completed at this level, are worth much more than one big project battling to get traction.

ACTION

  • Instead of a grand revision of your safety improvement plan, go for a  Just Do Something SAFE™[7]  safety culture. Get your teams / plants to create their own safety projects. Carry out campaigns themed on “any cause, anytime, anywhere” that are safety-related, within their means and can be completed within days.
    I am not going to give you a template or a hundred examples, as that defeats the object of you owning this disruptive safety approach. I will, however, share with you a few trigger ideas: paint the workshop floor, erect a handrail, review and renew safety signs, clean out the store room, spring clean ‘my own work space’ week.
    Your challenge is to rally the herd using suitable encouragement and recognition.
  • If the above approach is too disruptive for you, then review your safety plan, but do not use the “Moses Approach”.[8]
    Consult your key stakeholders in safety, including SHE Reps, at their place of work – a kind of “Road Hear” (not “Show”) or “lekgotla”. Get them to tell you about their safety expectations, key safety issues, any quick hits and what they want to see happen. These sessions should be facilitated by a skilled, independent person and the outcome should be communicated back to all stakeholders, within a week or two.

ps. I am able and willing to facilitate either of these actions for you and to share some tools and techniques to manage the process. (T&C’S apply)

REFERENCE

[1]   “Ukuhlanya” = “insanity” in isiZulu

[2]   Albert Einstein, German physicist (1879-1955)

[3]   Seth Godin – sundry, thought-provoking posts

[4]   “Einspruchsrecht” = “the right of people to partake in decisions which affect them”, a German expression

[5]   “Beyond Management”, by Etsko Schuitema

[6]   Analogy from “Switch”, by Chip and Dan Heath

[7]   Spring-boarding on DoSomething, which is a stellar success, a fast-growing non-profit that’s engaging with millions of young people around the world.

[8]   “Moses Approach” = where leaders huddle together in the boardroom to work out the new vision, strategy, plan or some other directive, based on assumptions, and which they expect the troops to eagerly embrace without having been consulted about what is actually required.

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SCnSP – Safety and Quality

♦♦♦  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.

SAFETY & QUALITY

(They go hand in hand)

Why do many companies link Safety and Quality, often co-ordinated by one department? There are a number of reasons, based on requirements / drivers that they have in common or are shared:

  • Adherence to defined and specific rules and procedures.
  • Involvement by and of everyone – the basis of efficient implementation of Safety and Quality systems.
  • Driven by a policy document developed by top management for unity of purpose and direction and audited against elaborate ISO and other international standards.
  • Need people to change their attitudes and behaviours to ensure customer needs are continually satisfied and employees are not injured or harmed.
  • Use professionals to support the business functions and many other shared factors.

But the real common denominator is ZERO = ZERO DEFECTS = ZERO HARM = ZERO TOLERANCE. I know ZERO is a hotly debated issue, but just consider the consequences if your surgeon did not have a ZERO mind-set or, for that matter, if Koeberg did not have a ZERO TOLERANCE approach!

graphic depicting common / shared requirements / drivers of safety and quality

There is also a more direct, physical link. It is, simply put, waste! Waste in all its forms: spillage and effluent, defective products, time lost being unproductive (from injuries, reworks, or time spent making defects). It is all money down the drain. Even if you can rework some of this waste, much of it still ends up on a waste dump, ultimately damaging the environment.

On top of that there is the cost of cleaning up, waste handling, attending to the injured, time taken to investigate causes of incidents and product non-conformities. You need bins and containers, fork lifts and trucks, storage areas and waste / effluent pits and enclosed spaces, plus lifting equipment, settling ponds and dumps with separation facilities.

The link to safety is the fact that to deal with waste you introduce the additional resources, equipment and facilities, with the associated new risks involved. This could be hazards like trip, slip and fall, confined spaces, working at heights and lifting equipment, especially when recycling or reworking. In order to protect against the health hazards, extensive PPE is often required.

Another direct link between Quality and Safety is created when a non-conforming part that is fitted, for example, to an aircraft could directly result in a safety disaster.

For Safety and Quality to be effective and sustained, organisations should focus on identifying the underlying causes of incidents or non-conformities and implement actions that eliminate the root causes of the non-conformities experienced.

ACTION

  • Change the Rework / Waste mind-set to ZERO WASTE. Make it a priority, like when working with extremely hazardous chemicals as in a nuclear plant.
  • Compile the real, total Cost (direct and indirect) of rework, recycling waste and waste handling activities and share with your EXCO and all employees.
  • Get the ‘Safety’ and ‘Quality’ teams together to find ways of working jointly to plan and run a ZERO TOLERANCE campaign.
  • Organise a competition to evaluate the amount identified in item #2 (Rand or tons) to encourage looking for opportunities to REDUCE – REUSE – RECYCLE

RELATED READING

“Zero Defect – Tracy Ackermann’s Plant” – from the book Life EduAction by Jürgen Tietz

Going to Waste

Fix Those Leaks

Your Paper Footprint – Environmental Murder?

RESOURCES

Moses Mudau, Head of QEHS Management at SABN
Master of Engineering (MEng), Industrial Engineering/Management

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SCnSP – Safety First … Really?

♦♦♦   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 assist our frontline managers as they strive to pilot for success on the wings of safety.

SAFETY FIRST … Really?

The Frontline Influence on Safety Culture

Wherever I go, I hear Safety First. I have yet to come across a company where people will say safety comes second or, heaven forbid, last. They all say safety comes first, because it is the right thing to say, especially in a formal audit. It is also the message that you find in the mission statements, values and other directives generated in the board rooms.

But, what happens, there, where the cookies are made and the rubber hits the road? Does safety come first at the coal face and on the shop floor?

Often, in reality, at the heat of the furnace or in the back alleys of the factory or at the thumping production press or deep underground at the end of the night shift, safety does not come first. For those people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’ and those who directly manage them, it is a different story. Safety has to compete with many other issues and priorities.

You might be thinking, “Has Jürgen gone nuts? Is this man who lives and preaches safety making concessions?”

Let me explain.

In most companies, there are a multitude of thrusts (often 20 or more) pushed down the organisation to drive the business forward – output, costs, quality, productivity and continuous improvement, personal performance and empowerment, research and development, to name but a few. Then there are compliance issues, laws and regulations, systems and procedures and hundreds of rules and standards, plus the need for accreditation and branding. Each department in head office, including Safety, issues instructions, requests for information and sundry other requirements. All of this has a direct and overwhelming impact on frontline managers and their teams. One of the most frequent complaints I get from this level is that they are ‘forced’ to manage on their seats instead of on their feet and that output and costs are most important!

"First and second line managers are the critical links in bringing a company’s culture to life. At Pfizer, these frontline managers strongly influence the day-to-day working environment of about 80 percent of colleagues."[1]

I could not agree more, especially a company’s safety culture.

The best way to describe the job of the frontline manager is to compare it to that of a surgeon. The surgeon cuts open the patient on the operating table to remove a tumour. He/she has to keep an eye on the vital signs, watch out for bleeding, make instant decisions and balance all the options. There is no time to read the manual and there are no second chances.

In a similar manner, safety is just one of many concerns that the frontline manager needs to take into consideration. This means that we have a responsibility to help the frontline managers to manage the total risk and balance the priorities within the limited resources at their disposal. Why? Simply because, often, when safety is held in the balance against, for example, production, it is the safety ball that will be dropped as it is perceived to have the least direct consequences. This is a tough call for us safety professionals, especially when it comes to influencing and supporting the safety culture at the frontline.

For many years I have used the analogy of an airplane to illustrate to the people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’ how all these business elements, including safety, need to work together in order for the company to prosper.

picture of an airplane showing how various business elements work together for prosperity

The engines are those things which drive the business forward and result in profit. These are normally Output, Costs, People, Continuous Improvement and the like. Depending on the kind of business, sales & marketing, research & development and customer service & support also add to the profits. The key message here is balance in the thrust provided by all the engines. You cannot fly if you put all the power on say the Cost engine and throttle the other engines in the process.

The airframe consists of the wings and the fuselage. The wings represent safety and support the engines. The wings have to be strong and flexible at the same time. In addition to that, the wings provide the lift, critical for the plane to remain airborne and reach a safe cruising level.

Safety does not directly contribute to profits,
but it supports all those activities that do
.

The fuselage consists of those items which you will normally find in the company’s values and mission statements. These include Quality, Care & Respect, Fairness, Honesty & Integrity, Communication, Teamwork, Excellence, Accountability & Reliability, Innovation & Creativity and Recognition & Rewards.

The dashboard of the airplane shows the pilot (frontline manager) the target – what is the destination, cruising height & speed, direction, as well as other critical parameters. In order to use this information, there has to be constant measurement and feedback to the pilot so that appropriate action can be taken timeously to ensure a safe flight.

ACTION

  • Use the above analogy of an airplane to explain to all employees why safety plays such a key role, but that it also has to be balanced with all the other priorities.
  • Organise facilitated workshops with the frontline managers to ask them what you, as safety professionals, should be doing to help them with SAFETY. Give them “Einspruchsrecht”[2].
  • Change your approach to toolbox / safety talks. Rather than glossing over safety for a few minutes every day at the start of shift / production meetings, hold a specific session once a week or once every two weeks and dedicate half an hour to focus purely on safety. Prepare a number of specific toolbox talks for the frontline manager to use to focus on safety.[3]

[1]    “Shape your culture, shape your company’s future“, Ian C Read, Pfizer.
[2]    “Einspruchsrecht” – a person’s right to partake in decisions which affect him/her.
[3]    DIY Safety

RELATED LINKS

Put on An Overall

Under the Knife

Toolbox Talks – Ask me for help with these, in need.

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SCnSP – The Best Audits

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Oct 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 to examine the purpose for Safety Audits and how this necessary practice can be used as an improvement tool.

     

The Best Audits

     

If your company operates on the principle that safety audits are carried out by Safety Professionals for the purpose of policing non-compliance to “The Rules and Standards”, then read on.

The safety fraternity has adopted this practice from the accounting profession for good reason – inspecting, examining, checking and verifying of safety systems, procedures and equipment are all necessary. Sadly, the correction aspect is seldom seen as an improvement tool, and the safety audit, rather than being a means to an end, is merely the end itself.

So how do you facilitate a mindset shift from “This safety audit is a necessary evil of policing, inflicted by some external source (the Safety Professionals)” to “This safety audit is a powerful self-improvement tool ” ?

  1. Invest the time necessary to make sure everyone understands the fundamental purpose (in its entirety) for continuous safety audits, viz.

  2. Make safety auditing an on-going line responsibility (same as you do with output, costs, quality, etc.).
  3. The systems, rules and regulations, standards and procedures should not only be “in place” and working, but also be accepted and understood by all, so as to foster an ownership mentality.
  4. Auditing of plant and equipment, safety mechanisms, fire fighting, first aid, emergency equipment, interlocks, trips and alarms, instruments and other safety critical devices with a “look to see” mindset will highlight aspects that could be improved on.
  5. Make sure that the inspection, examination, verification and reporting aspect of a safety audit is not used as an excuse for “not having time” to workshop and implement improvements.

ACTION

'Stop unsafe practice' and 'Safety Champion Recognition' tool - isiZulu version

  • Issue each auditor with a set of 2 red and 4 green cards. Red to stop an unsafe practice / operation and green to recognise people who are doing the right or safe thing. This will force the auditors to look for the GOOD things and find safety champions to recognise.
  • Schedule time to coach line people to do self-audits. (This investment in time will save you plenty of time in the long run.) Then, at the annual Safety Day, recognise and reward those who self-audit well, instead of just those with the best metrics.
  • Auditor Hat - A practical application of the audit logos
    Audit Hat Logos e.g. PPE Examiner, Work Permit Specialist, Machinery Expert and more

  • Get the auditors to wear hats / badges, depicting the focus area which they will be looking at. This gives high visibility and at the same time ensures that each auditor is concentrating on one specific aspect of safety.
  • Although I am against paperwork, consider drawing up an audit preparation check list: What to do and have ready for an effective audit. Provide training for the ‘hosts’, as well as your team leaders and safety reps, on how to enable an audit.
  • Give feedback on the audit findings to the ‘players’ who “push the buttons and use the tools”, not only to the ‘coaches’ (managers). The players have just as much a role to play in the safety ‘game’!

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What’s in a Hat?

Back-end a Dead-end?

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GM – SAFETY FEVER! – Let Nature Guide You

∴ϒ∴    SPRING EDITION    ∴ϒ∴

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.

 

SAFETY FEVER!

— 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.

ACTION

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.

RELATED LINKS

Safety on a Shoestring Budget – Addressing Problems

Safety as a Value

Safety for Safety’s Sake

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