- ISHN GLOBAL
- EHS RESEARCH
Articles by Mike Williamsen Ph.D., CSP
We all engage in activities outside of work that have risks. In our personal lives, it is normal for our risk tolerance to increase; however, with increased risk comes increased probability of injury. A recent National Safety Council (NSC) report revealed that about 70% of all medical case injuries occur off the job, along with about 90% of fatal injuries.
Dr. Dan Petersen was one of the great safety pioneers of the last 50 years. His focus was consistently on developing a viable safety culture that lived safety accountabilities at all levels of the organization. Organizations fully utilizing his Six Criteria for Safety Excellence are among the leaders in safety performance. These criteria are:
Before an organization begins to curse safety, it is probable that one or more of the following have occurred: regulators with a limited knowledge base of safety have caused grief, a condition of supposed danger has led to an operations shutdown, a series of injuries or a severe injury has caused notable concern.
A number of companies have made significant improvements to their safety cultures. Their progress is so dramatic, they often come to the realization that it is highly probable that their next fatality will come from a contractor they hire. To safety leaders, this is not an acceptable risk.
I often use TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) to add humor and make an impact in my safety teaching. Here are a few of my favorites:
- ROI – Return On Investment
- FNG – Fantastic New Guy
- FOG – Fantastic Old Guy
A popular business concept has organizations searching for how they can look to the future while still dealing with day-to-day crisis events. These mini and maxi disruptions come from things like weather disasters, fatalities, spills and the like…and suck our resources dry. Those of you who have experienced such career-shaking times know that pretty much all non-crisis activities and plans cease while you are in the midst of the moment—which seems like it will never end!
Safety professionals protect working class employees in countries all around the world. In every situation, we touch the lives of people who labor daily for an hourly wage. Industries, technologies and risks may change, but a common factor remains: men, women (and children) who work the front line, producing what the rest of the world purchases.
I am sure many of you have watched portions of the various “reality” programs that are so pervasive these days. The scenes are very well staged with close up video that is oh so perfect.
James Madison, fourth president of the United States, was instrumental in drafting the United States constitution. He warned against creating laws “so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”