- OIL & GAS
Articles by Phil La Duke
To assert that most safety training sucks is to reveal no great insight; it’s practically an O’Henry short story: training professionals steer clear of safety courses for fear they might miss some important point and imperil the learners and safety professionals lack the requisite knowledge of knowledge of adult education to construct an effective course.
If you’ve made even the most cursory read of my articles and blogs you probably already know that I don’t hold much stock in Behavior Based Safety (BBS). I believe that except for the odd statistical outlier nut-job, nobody WANTS to get hurt and unless they were designed by the Marquis De Sade you processes aren’t intended to hurt people.
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.
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?
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.
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.