Articles by Dave Johnson

The Best Description of a Zero Injury Culture We Heard

June 27, 2013

The rap against setting a goal of zero injuries is that workers know it is an impossibility, and will tune out further safety messages. Three different safety experts at ASSE’s Safety 2013 gave us almost identical definitions: First, you start by asking employees, “Can you go a day without an injury?” Well, yeah, probably.” So the day does go by without an injury.” Next you ask:


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Getting to metrics beyond injury rates (it’s about time)

June 27, 2013

Many safety pros are exasperated by their senior leadership’s slavish devotion to tracking OSHA recordables, lost-time incidents, severity rates and fatalities. In a way, you can’t blame them when their pay bonuses are based on these numbers, and the numbers represent pretty much all senior leaders know about safety.


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ASSE’s Safety 2013: Innovation is everywhere

June 27, 2013

For decades the safety products market as known was a rather sleepy commodity market (a hard hat is a hard hat is a hard hat, etc.) with few technological breaththroughs. That was then, this is now. The expo floor this week at Safety 2013 showcased more tech innovations than I have seen in coming to ASSE national meetings for 30 years.


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Is behavior-based safety dead?

June 27, 2013

At ASSE’s Safety 2013 I was asked by an author writing an upcoming article for ISHN magazine: “Should I title it, ‘The Demise of BBS,’ or the ‘Evolution of BBS’?” To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of BBS’s death are greatly exaggerated. It’s been employed by safety pros for more than 30 years now, since Proctor & Gamble Safety Manager Gene Ernst started industry’s first BBS program in the 1970s.


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Dr. Krause stumps safety pros

June 27, 2013

“Are we kidding ourselves?” Dr. Tom Krause, founder of BST and now an independent consultant, asked several  hundred safety pros at a session at ASSE’s Safety 2013. Kidding about what? Dr. Krause’s point: low OSHA injury rates are deceiving many companies into believing they have better safety performance than is really the case.


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Outgoing ASSE President Rick Pollock on the safety profession’s evolution

June 27, 2013

In an exclusive with ISHN magazine, outgoing ASSE President Rick Pollock explains the profession’s expanding focus on risk and myths about human performance, as well as other issues. “ASSE now has, and will into the future, have a much greater focus on risk. Clearly, any true business leader understands the concept of risk as it applies to investment and decision making. Business is about understanding enterprise risk and how investment is always at risk of loss or under performance."


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Why every safety pro should know Peter Drucker

June 27, 2013

The title of one Thursday session at ASSE’s Safety 2013: “Why Every Safety Professional/Manager Must Understand the Ideas of Peter F. Drucker,” presented by Jay C. Brakensiek, CSP, MSIH, EMBA, Claremont University Consortium, Claremont, CA. Brakensiek was a former student of Professor Drucker, considered the “Father of Management.”


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What exactly is Prevention Through Design?

June 27, 2013

A session at ASSE’s Safety 2013 focused on, “Integrating Risk Management and Prevention Through Design Standards,” and ASSE has been beating the drum in support of what’s known as PtD. Presenters were Georgi I. Popov, PhD., QEP, University of Central Missouri, Overland Park, KS; and John N. Zey, Ed.D., CIH, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO.


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Are safety pros fooling themselves?

June 26, 2013

Two sessions this week at ASSE’s Safety 2013 took up the subject of zero injury goals. The first was presented by Tom Krause Ph.D., the founder of BST who now works as an independent consultant in Ojai, CA after selling the company to Dekra of Germany. Tom posed the question: “Are We on the Path to Zero or Are We Kidding Ourselves?“


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Executive panelist: Investments in safety must continue

June 26, 2013

A highlight at ASSE’s annual professional development conference, this year titled Safety 2013, is the Executive Summit Panel Discussion. This year’s featured panelists:  Robert Zaist, President of Energy and Construction, URS Corporation; Rafael Moure-Eraso, Chair, U.S. Chemical Safety Board; Lester Grey, Sr. Vice President of Operations, Perdue Farms; Stephanie Buchanan, Vice President of Operations, United Airlines, Houston Hub; and Virginia Valentine, Nevada Resort Association.


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