Articles by Phil La Duke

Anti Social Networking

October 3, 2013

I speak my mind, in person and in print. Some like it some do not. I don’t really care if people don’t like my style—different strokes for different folks I’ve always said.  But recently I have seen an alarming spike in a lack of manners and civility among the denizens of the so-called social media.


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Mouthing Off About Safety

September 18, 2013
Safety talks, reflections on safety, safety reviews, safety observations, LinkedIn discussions, forums, blogs and…well the list goes on and on.


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If you want to change the culture, focus on “must do” behaviors not “don’t do” behaviors

September 5, 2013

Perhaps the best thing about working in Organizational Development is that I don’t hang around any one industry for protracted periods of time; I basically am called into solve a problem, that, once solved, eliminates the need for my services.


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What Would Doris Do?

August 29, 2013

Hazard analysis is a key to appropriately protecting workers from dangers in the workplace, but too often we do a mediocre job. Protecting workers from the hazards they are likely to encounter can’t be a half measure and most workplaces would benefit from better and more accurate hazard analysis and risk management.


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Working in the line of fire

August 22, 2013

When someone dies in the workforce through no fault of his or her own it’s undeniably a tragedy. But in many people’s minds, line of fire injuries—those injuries that result when a worker places his or her body in the direct path of  a serious hazard—the injured worker must bear at least some culpability for his or her injury.


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Breaking down resistance

August 14, 2013

When it comes to organizational change, for my money you can’t beat the work of Edgar Schein. Schein is considered by many to be the father of organizational development; he coined the term “corporate culture” and if for that fact alone should be revered in the same hushed tones in which people talk about Edison, Deming, or Jobs.


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The folly of safety reminders

July 24, 2013

It’s been awhile since I blogged about the role of behavior in worker safety. Truth be told, despite the tonnage of digital ink I have devoted to criticizing Behavior Based Safety, I am a firm believer in an organization’s need to address worker behaviors that cause injuries, but I differ with many BBS devotees on the best way to do so.


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Safety isn’t immune to hiring for technical skills and firing for interpersonal skills

July 17, 2013

In my last column, I wrote about personality styles and understanding how a person prefers to be treated and tempering ones style of communication to meet another’s needs can make one not only a more effective safety professional, but a very effective professional of whatever career one chooses to pursue.


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Legitimizing risk

July 12, 2013

Several days ago the United States celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the first step toward its becoming a sovereign nation. It was an event marked in the state of Michigan by the irresponsible and dangerous use of fireworks by drunken amateurs with no training.


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Why housekeeping and static electricity are no longer “no big deal”

July 5, 2013

The safety rumour mill is buzzing about the probability that governments are about to target a hazard that many of us really haven’t given much thought to: dust.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been on audits where the merest mention of poor housekeeping send eyes rolling and smirks crackling like lightning strikes across the faces of both leadership and the rank-and-file alike.


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