Articles by Phil La Duke

Bleeding money: how much does safety really cost?

True costs go beyond PPE, wages paid to safety dept.
February 27, 2013

The unsafe workplace costs a lot of money. The financial magnitude of expenses incurred in operating an unsafe workplace must be understood. This examination of the true costs associated with poor safety uncovers how far they extend beyond simply counting the cost of safety glasses or wages paid to the safety department.


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Are you turning a blind eye to hazards?

Biases can get in the way of decision-making
February 21, 2013

Hazards come in many shapes and sizes—from the physical to the behavioral and all points in between. And the efficacy with which hazards are identified to a large extent shape the overall effectiveness of your safety management system. So what happens when your personal or organizational biases prevent you from seeing things accurately and honestly?


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You’re Not the Boss of Me: It’s Not The Message, It’s The Way It’s Delivered

February 12, 2013
We’ve all experienced this at one time or another: you point out an unsafe act or safety violation in good faith, only to have the worker shoot back some sarcastic, rude, or juvenile comment.


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Pulling safety out of its rut: The value of a different look at safety

February 6, 2013

Let’s be clear, there is no such thing as a safe workplace. Sure we can slap each other on the back and brag to one another about the four years without a recordable injury and we can tell ourselves that we have achieved a Utopian risk-free workplace but the reality is, there is always some probability that a worker will be harmed in the course of doing his or her job.


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Requiem for prevention

January 15, 2013
I am a loud (some might say obnoxious) and ardent supporter of prevention. In fact, I one of my core values is “Prevention is the key to sustainable safety.”


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For your consideration: 10 resolutions for EHS pros for 2013

January 2, 2013

Resolution #1: Less Focus On Preaching More On Teaching. Awareness campaigns are important for the unaware. But most workers who ultimately get hurt do so knowing something they know is dangerous, or at very least that they suspected COULD be dangerous. Too many awareness campaigns make safety professionals feel good about themselves but come off as smug and condescending to workers.


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Rules only protect people if everyone follows them

December 26, 2012

Thou shalt not kill. People have been using rules to protect people since man left the primordial forest and walked up right for the first time. For people some rules are sacred—they are worshipped for their own sake. For others, rules were meant to be broken. Irrespective of your view of rules, they form the foundation of society of all levels.


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Deming: Culture transformation is everyone’s job

December 11, 2012
By far the most universal belief in worker safety is that safety is impossible without top management commitment and action.


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Crying over spilt milk; mistakes are inevitable, injuries are not

December 4, 2012

People make mistakes; it’s what makes us human. The propensity for human error is practically embedded in our DNA. While the idiom holds that there is no use crying over spilled milk, might there not be some benefit in examining the causes, contributors, and catalysts associated with poor decision-making?


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Playing it safe is no path to safety

November 20, 2012

Uncertain times make us risk adverse. And in a tenuous economic recovery it’s easy for safety professionals to play it safe.


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