Search Results for: World Class

World Class Safety – Lock Out

Here is a World Class example of a lock out system with warning lights. What is so nifty about this one is that it uses a ‘traffic light’. This link to something everyone knows is really smart – not just a red / green light but a walking man light = GO or NO-GO 🙂


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GM – Madiba Magic

♦♦♦    MADIBA MAGIC    ♦♦♦
Dec 2013
Honouring Madiba

Together with a deep sense of sorrow and loss, I feel immense gratitude for Madiba. I am grateful for having experienced a ‘living legend’ who was able and willing to take the ‘Long Walk to Freedom’. This icon of peace left a legacy which influenced this country, indeed the whole world. What a blessing for us all. Let’s celebrate his life, rather than mourn his death.

How did he do this? He shared with us his DREAM of peace through nation building and reconciliation. He stood on the steps of the union building and said: “Never, never and never again … ” He convinced this country, and the ANC hardliners, WHY they should follow his lead. Madiba walked his talk. He was a man of ACTION. He was serious about his dream. He used his ‘Madiba Magic’ on young and old, because he truly cared for ALL people. He remains the ultimate leadership role model. He travelled to Orania on 15 August 1995 to wish ‘tannie Betsie Verwoerd’ a happy birthday. This was reconciliation in ACTION, for the whole world to see.

With the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Madiba had the insight and wisdom to masterfully use the unifying power of sport. This is what I wrote regarding that event, in my book, Life EduAction:

June 24 in 1995 was a turning point. That day the hopes of the South African nation rested on the shoulders of those 15 players of the national rugby team. The capacity crowd burst forth into chanting: “Nelson, Nelson, Nelson … ” when President Mandela, or Madiba as he is fondly known, entered the stadium, wearing the captain’s No. 6 jersey. Madiba magic at its best. This world class statesman knew exactly what he would achieve by this simple, yet so powerful gesture. He had the astuteness to recognise the opportunity to inspire the team, unify the nation and take reconciliation a giant leap forward. This day was a ‘man on the moon’ type of achievement for all South Africans. Bishop Tutu reflected later that “Winning the rugby world cup was a single event that changed the history of this country.” The rainbow nation was finally born.

How can we forget how Nelson Mandela steered us to safer waters after the massacre of 45 people at Boipatong in the Vaal Triangle in June 1992? Or the tipping point on the afternoon of the 10th of April, 1993, when Chris Hani was assassinated outside his home in Boksburg? Madiba lead us from the very real prospect of civil war, to lasting peace!

Lala Ngoxolo Mkhulu wethu othandekayo


If you want to pay homage to this awesome human being, then take lessons from his legacy and apply them to your area of influence:

  • Have a safety DREAM; share this with all your people and have the courage to dream BIG.
  • Make sure your people understand WHY safety is important and that they take safety home as well.
  • Find opportunities to see and be seen – you are serious about safety.
  • Become a living safety legend. When people see you they must think and see safety.


Your comments and feedback are always welcome!

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SCnSP – Where’s that umbrella when you need it?

Jul 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 importance of proper and SAFE testing of safety equipment.


Where’s That Umbrella When You Need It!

(World Class Safety)

Picture: Unilever's solution for safe testing of a safety shower


One of the fundamentals of looking after your safety equipment, such as firefighting gear, trips and alarms, lifting gear, lifts and hoists, evacuation gear, breathing apparatus, safety showers, and some PPE, amongst others, is to inspect and test that the equipment is, indeed, in working order.

Why do it?

Well, apart from the obvious, i.e. your life might depend on it, doing this testing has the effect of increasing the awareness of the importance of the safety equipment. It is like a parachute. When you need it, you want to be 110% sure that it will open. No guarantee with ‘return the faulty one’, no questions asked, just 110% assurance.

How to do it?

Consider the safety shower – like the kind in use at chemical plants.

How does one test a safety shower without getting drenched? You can turn this one whichever way you like. Invariably, where SAFE testing of equipment has not been designed into the operating process / procedure, there is no other way but to activate the shower by actually stepping onto the plate in order to see the water spraying out of the shower heads …

Where is that umbrella when you need it!

Let me share a World Class example with you.

At Unilever’s Maydon Wharf plant, there is a testing jig which gets hooked onto the shower. By depressing the long lever, the shower is activated and the person doing the testing can thus stay completely dry. (See photo above.)

A SIMPLY SMART and practical solution!


In the world of skydiving, the parachutes are either packed by the mothers and wives of the jumpers, or by the jumpers themselves. One could say that the person who has a vested interest in the parachute opening when it’s supposed to is the one making sure that it really will open. Do you know who packs your parachutes?

Identify three of the most critical safety systems or equipment in your plant or process. Take a close look. Are these clearly identified and marked? Who does the testing? HOW often and HOW are these safety systems or equipment actually tested? I’m not talking about a simulation or fire-drill type exercise! This inspection should include the records of tests, with the findings and corrective actions signed and dated.

If a real test is not possible, then go back to the drawing board and change the design so that testing is possible. If this is still not an option, then other solutions like redundancy or back up safety devices need to be installed. This is a fundamental in process safety.

Trust me, if you take this advice seriously, you are bound to find some nasty surprises.


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Your Paper Footprint – Environmental Murder?

WASTE – Trees and killing the Environment

A barrow-full of waste paper

Recently, I had to clean out the attic to make room to store some more stuff I no longer require – just in case I need it in the future. Confused? Read on …

One of the things I came across (which I added to my “rubbish to throw out” pile) was my old accounting documentation. I had a wheelbarrow full of papers, dating back more than 10 years to when I started my business. They were all neatly bundled, categorised and labeled, and, of course, buried under a ton of dust.

Apart from the schlepp to now move and get rid of all this paper, there is the BIG issue of WASTE. Why, I asked myself, had I produced and kept this paper trail for years?

The answer lies in some relic of an accounting/legal requirement that we have to make hard copies of all our transactions and keep them for 5 years, in case there is an audit by SARS. It’s not only bookkeepers, but also sales, logistics and a number of other disciplines that are stuck in this paradigm of “one original with triplicate copies” – white, pink, green and yellow – to give this waste some colour.

Please understand that I have nothing against paper (SAPPI is one of my World Class clients), bookkeepers, copier and printer companies or sales and delivery people per se. I do, in fact, understand and subscribe to efficient systems and controls to keep track of and account for money and assets. Furthermore, the world cannot function without paper for packaging, printing and books. Paper is still the #1 means for knowledge transfer and will continue to be for ages to come.

What I do have a problem with is the WASTE of resources like Time, Money, Energy, Space and also Human Resources. There is waste in producing paper we don’t need in the first place, handling it, filing it, storing it, disposing of it and, ultimately, filling up our waste dumps or having to collect and recycle it. The irony is that, in most cases, the information on the paper is transferred by data capture clerks into one or other computer system! Why not enter it directly into the system, without any paper? The legal/auditing reason I mentioned earlier is a poor excuse. Nowadays, even money-sensitive operations like SARS and banks are going more and more PAPERLESS. With the growth in EFTs, the cheque book will soon become a true museum piece. Yet, I am frequently asked to provide a “cancelled cheque” to verify my account details when completing a vendor application!


Forget the carbon footprint for a moment and look at your PAPER FOOTPRINT. In areas under your control, like your safety systems, how much WASTE are you creating through your paper systems? All in the name of being able to have a “paper trail” which you can audit? There are tons of smarter ways to do this using technology.

Start at home, in your safety area of responsibility. As long as you have files & folders, filing cabinets and archives, monthly reports, board papers and the glossy annual reports, you leave a huge paper footprint. You are killing the environment. Incidentally, printers and copiers are paper eaters of note. If you place these devices and filing cabinets in offices, people will feel obliged to use them. Period!

You need to break the habit of “let’s make / keep a copy” by firstly changing your systems and attitude towards data capture and storage. Issue all employees with a memory stick to “take a copy” if they have to. Better still, keep documentation in a controlled network location, where access to it can be logged electronically (security feature) whilst still being accessible to those who need the information. Then, once you have proven it can be done, go to the EXCO and make a case for using this concept to drive home the issue of WASTE and actively contribute to taking care of the ENVIRONMENT.


Watch it! If you are fuming by now, you might set all the paper around you alight. 😀 😀 😀


Safety Data – a blessing or a curse?

Be safe – the SIMPLY SMART way,


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GM – Under the Knife

Feb 2013

Under the Knife

World Class Safety: Health & Hygiene

Picture: operating theatre staff


I have “signed my life away” and I feel like doing a full audit of all the tools, equipment, labelling, but . . . . it’s too late. I am flat on my back on the hard, cold and narrow operating table at Linksfield Hospital.

There is something frightening, yet reassuring about these masked faces.

Frightening, because the doctors have literally got my life in their hands. Thoughts of: “What if . . . .” flash through my brain.

Reassuring, because I know that I can ‘rest assured’ that I am in the best hands, the hands of genuine professionals.

I try to stay alert as nurse Rebecca gives me some oxygen, “just to be safe . . . .” and hooks me up to the monitoring instruments. I see Dr van der Spuy inserting the ‘plastic’ needle of the drip. The last words I hear are “You will feel . . . .” I am asleep in an instant.

Back in the ward, after recovery, I feel so good that I have to pat for the plaster or bandage. Perfect pain control! I have time to think about my hospital stay.

I am sharing this story of my operation with you because a hospital is a prime example of World Class S.H.E. – SAFETY, HEALTH and ENVIRONMENT. I am not talking about a third world bush clinic here, but of a facility and standards we all should strive for in our own operations, be it a factory, plant, mine or office complex.

  • Highly skilled doctors and nursing staff, serious about their work and following strict procedures, without taking short cuts.
  • Non-negotiable rules, such as those regarding hygiene. No one would even contemplate entering the operating theater without a sterile gown, slippers, gloves and mouth guard. Protection (PPE) for both the patient and the medical staff!
  • Working together as a team. No fooling around or taking chances. Clear cut roles and responsibilities – surgeon, anaesthetist, theater nurse, ward sister, cleaner, with no room for error and a spotless environment.
  • Identification and labeling is taken dead seriously, down to a milligram for medication. Identitags and bar coding for the patient with full particulars like ward, bed, responsible doctor, planned procedure, and double checking everything with sign-off (my brother’s keeper), to avoid any misunderstanding.
  • Pre-admission (pre-start) check lists. The anaesthetist would not dream of putting a patient to sleep without a face-to-face examination.
  • Monitoring and record keeping of blood pressure, pulse, temperature, medication, without fail. This is all part of discipline and genuine patient care, including hand-over to the next shift and the following of “doctor’s orders”.
  • Continuous improvement (‘plastic’ needle), especially in procedures and equipment, is part of making it safer for the patient and thus improving SHE all round.


My challenge to you:

Use this write up for your next couple of toolbox talks. Furthermore, use it as a model to audit your operation. Forget your existing safety checklists and standards for a moment. Think out of the box and utilize this write up as a wake-up call. Get your senior leadership to ask: “If our operation were a hospital in which we carried out procedures and people’s lives were at stake, what would we do differently, right NOW? How SERIOUS would we be about adhering to our own policies and procedures?”.


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Presentations & Workshops







VUKA! VUSA! Wake Up! Rise up! Boot Camp by eKhuluma and impleX

Lots of rules and regulations.

Change procrastination and disinterest into PRO-ACTIVE ACTION.



These are always customised based on the client’s needs with respect to objectives, desired results, safety logos, safety slogans and more. One or more of the following elements are incorporated, depending on what the client wants and the target audience.


Leadership in Safety

THE POWER OF A DREAM™ Leadership Bootcamp

LEADERS: This is for you! –
Learn about what it takes to achieve WORLD CLASS SAFETY.


Vote for Safety by Jurgen Tietz




Mirror Technique by Jurgen Tietz


Mirror, mirror, on the wall –
The GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY, with feedback.


Mirror Technique by Jurgen Tietz


You only live once? False. You live every day. You only DIE once.


Jurgen Tietz - Safety Clock


12 Rules of Behaviour, around the clock.


Jurgen Tietz - Safety Man


Demonstrating the many roles & responsibilities of the SHE practitioner.


Safety VIPs are Croc Hunters

The CROCODILE’S TALE Presentation

So what does the CROCODILE have to do with SAFETY?


Jurgen Tietz - Safety Song


Build up team spirit & safety camaraderie.





RETRENCHMENT & Post-retrenchment

For the ‘survivors’



Leadership & teamwork (Ibhubesi = The Lion)



Habits, Paradigms, Self-esteem & Self-influencing

SCnSP – Discipline

Oct 2012

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 DISCIPLINE.
A safe operation requires employees who are SELF-disciplined. What drives it? How can you get it?


Discipline and Passion

key ingredients in the foundation mix of safety

Picture: collage depicting that passion in anything leads to self-discipline


DISCIPLINE is a key ingredient in the foundation mix of safety. NO discipline means NO sustainable safety.

The crown of discipline is SELF-DISCIPLINE – everybody taking safety seriously, all the time, without policing, at work and at home . . . . the habit of doing the safe thing and working to a code of conduct.

A close cousin to self-discipline is PASSION. Commitment – Dedication – Focus – Consistent – Concentration – Perseverance. These all are features of passion.

The best way to explain the strong link between passion and self-discipline is the sports analogy. World class sportsmen and women have an immense passion for their sport. As a result of passion, they develop the self-discipline to get up at the crack of dawn and into the water or onto the track to practice, practice, and practice, every day to improve their skill and performance. They play to the rules of the game and are fanatical about reaching their goals to become (world) champions in their field. These champs have bridged the gap between reason and desire.

The Road to Safety Discipline is a tough one, spanning a four-pillared bridge of self-discipline – cleanliness, orderliness, punctuality and compliance.

What is called for are independent safety thinkers and consequently active safety employees. We have to grow Safety BEE’s – Behaviour (safety) Empowered Employees. We have to get people beyond understanding and even accepting the reason for safety to having a deep felt desire to practice safety.

How to grow employees to be passionate about safety and thus safety self-discipline?

This is the most demanding challenge you will face in terms of behavioural safety. I use the player / coach analogy. The player has to show up and practice, which includes doing things that are not fun like fitness training, or in a safety sense, good housekeeping. The coach must be, consistently, a safety VIP – Visible, Involved, Pro-active. This LEADERSHIP ROLE is critical.

The full article on this subject, “The Power of Discipline”, is available as a download.



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The Leader Sets The Tone – The Gyproc Lesson

Having talked at GYPROC for the third time, and taken photos in their plant, I can see the impact which a leader has on safety. 

Greg White is serious about safety!

He leads by example: 

His personal work space (office) is spotless, and this carries over into the plant.


The storage and stacking, good housekeeping, and cleanliness are World Class.

Everything is in its place, with a place for everything. 

He is committed to safety, and he drives safety.  

There are numerous and excellent safety systems and features throughout the plant. 


Safety is truly number one, and you can see that these are not merely empty words … which makes my task of holding up the mirror to the “bad” and “ugly” things so much tougher! 


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Safety-Related Articles & Information by Jürgen

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Highlighting the Safety Lessons one can learn from current affairs and during commemorative events.

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A collection of Simply Smart Safety Tips focusing on keeping our personnel, families and communities safe.

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In this series I share with you my thoughts on ‘Why Safety is an Issue for Most Companies’, or, putting it differently, ‘Things we Must Address if we Want to Improve our Safety Performance’.

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This series aims to help safety practitioners and company leadership to increase safety awareness amongst personnel. It’s based on the concept that 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.

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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.

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A collection of  Simply Smart Safety Tips  covering a range of safety-related topics.


eKhuluma croc iconeKhuluma croc iconeKhuluma croc icon




Thank you for respecting the fact that this is my intellectual property

Having said that …

I want you to get maximum leverage and mileage from my Safety Tips. So, you may copy and use my Safety Tips and web content as long as you include the following credit:

“Excerpted from Jürgen Tietz’ Simply Smart Safety!™ Tips
available from the S.H.E. ATM at”

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GM – Walking the Circle of Safety

May 2012

Walking the Circle of Safety

Picture depicting walking vehicular circle of safety


What is the Vehicular Circle of Safety?

Pretty much what it sounds like … circling your vehicle as a safety check before you drive off.

The ‘Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety’ website has a comprehensive checklist and a diagram of what to check for. Although it is directed at company vehicles, the Circle of Safety is definitely not limited to that – we all learnt about the circle check when we prepared for our driver licence tests. Ergo, this is something we should all be doing with our personal vehicles too!

Why do it?

Well, apart from the obvious, i.e. is the vehicle in a fit state to be on the road, doing this has the effect of increasing driver safety awareness. Some companies insist on the positioning of traffic cones around their vehicles so that drivers are ‘forced’ to ‘walk the circle’ as they remove the cones.

The example below is a VERY good reason for at least checking that there are no children or animals anywhere near your vehicle.

Source unknown, but thanks to Morkel for bringing it to my attention!

If you’re not already walking the Circle of Safety, why not start today? It’s the SMART thing to do.


Childsafewebsite for the campaign of the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa (CAPFSA) and Safe Kids Worldwide

Driveway Run-over Injury Prevention Videosmade available by the New Zealand chapter of Safekids

Prediction on child road fatalities in Africa by 2015


The Safety Guru  –  delivering your safety message powerfully, purposefully and permanently for real safety, health and wellness results

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