There’s been a lot of fury and fuss about how the secret to improving workplace safety lies in increasing the value on which the corporate culture places on the safety of the workers. As individuals our values dictate how we spend our time, money, and efforts (If you want to know what is really important to you just take a careful look at where you spend your time and money), as we grow older and mature our values, if they serve us well, become deeply ingrained and difficult to change.
Over the past couple of weeks I have criticized the mad rush of snake oil sales men from BBS to the new –found goldmine of one form or another of “culture-based” safety. I like to alternate my posts from the critical, to the (hopefully) helpful. Much ado is made about the holy grail of injury prevention, but scant little has been offered around sustaining change.
Restricting the use of distracting devices in the workplace isn’t quite as simple as it seems at first blush but it needs to be done. According to the International Data Corporation of Framingham Massachusetts, there were more than one billion smart devices in use and that number is expected to rise above two billion by 2016; given the total population of the world that is an extremely high number of devices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.