Articles by Phil La Duke

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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The rise of the safety extremist

June 27, 2013

I write provocative material. I deliberately try to elicit a visceral response and take people to a place where they can explore their deepest held beliefs and question basic ideologies of safety. The latest in neuroscience suggests that our decisions or made and our ability to change reside deep in our subconscious beneath our defenses.


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Misleading indicators

June 21, 2013

Nearly every safety professional worth his or her salt has been told that he or she needs to look at both leading and lagging indicators; it’s good advice, in fact, it’s advice I’ve given many times in articles and speeches over the years.  But in my last post (two weeks ago—I spent the last week at a customer site and with the travel travails I just couldn’t bring myself to hammer out a post, deepest apologies to my fans and detractors alike) I questioned the value of tracking (not reporting or investigating, mind you, just tracking) near misses.


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The biggest threat to safety… might just be you and I

June 7, 2013
For a moment consider perhaps the most serious threat to worker safety: the attitudes of the safety professionals themselves.


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Safety: the new competitive advantage in a world of liability

May 29, 2013

As regulators change their view on the relationship of worker safety to contractors and their customers, more companies are using a prospective supplier’s safety record as criteria for awarding business. Some shops have lost profitable contracts to competitors with better safety records. And that’s not all.


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A @#$# storm In Texas

May 2, 2013
As safety professionals all over the civilized world continued to congratulate themselves on the swell job they’re all doing, someone had to piss on the picnic and blow up a fertilizer plant.


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Road rash: Business travel and injuries

How big a problem is it?
April 24, 2013

Last Saturday and the Saturday before that I made no posts to my blog. It was an unfortunate result of my having been away on business. This is not an excuse mind you; I had every intention of writing and posting using the infernal timer that has vexed me every time I’ve tried using it. In hindsight I’m glad I waited. This week I’d like to talk a bit about an area of safety that I think goes largely ignored: safety while travelling.


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