My heart hurts today. Safety statistics started to play out early this morning. Today in Minneapolis, a construction worker died when he fell 50 feet. Today in Franklin County, Virginia, two journalists were killed by a disgruntled former employee of their station.
An interesting discussion at this year’s National Safety Congress (NSC) this week in Atlanta takes place today at the Executive Forum. The topic is “Beyond Engagement: Innovations for Sustainable Success” and it is presented by the Campbell Institute.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's policy statement, "Freedom of Employees in the Nuclear Industry to Raise Safety Concerns Without Fear of Retaliation," (61 FR 24336; May 14, 1996) describes a safety-conscious work environment (SCWE) as a work environment where employees are encouraged to raise safety concerns and where concerns are promptly reviewed, given the proper priority based on their potential safety significance, and appropriately resolved with timely feedback to the originator of the concerns and to other employees as appropriate.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Safety Culture Policy Statement includes a list of nine traits further defining a positive safety culture. These traits describe patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that emphasize safety, particularly in goal conflict situations, such as when safety goals conflict with production, schedule or cost goals.
Safety is a relatively new function. When it was created in the mid 70s, it was typically an assignment tacked on to someone’s existing job. There were no instructions, or templates for doing a good job.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Contemporary research suggests that we can better influence the safety-related opinions, attitudes, and actions of others when we have a large degree of expertise and trustworthiness.
Recently, I was in the Central American country of Costa Rica. While there I kept hearing the phrase Pura Vida as people greeted one another. As I discussed this with our host he gave me two translations; the word by word meaning is the pure life.
Within the scope of the modern workplace, frequency of hazard exposure is relatively agreed-upon. For any given job role, one can analyze what tasks fit into that role, break the tasks down into Job Safety Analyses, and break down the Job Safety Analyses into particular hazards.