James Madison, fourth president of the United States, was instrumental in drafting the United States constitution. He warned against creating laws “so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
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.
We used to play a video game called space invaders where you had to destroy little spaceships as they appeared on the screen. While it pales in comparison to today’s games, it was pretty hi tech for its time. Space invaders can be a problem when we are driving, too.
I'm not clairvoyant, but I can see into the future and so can you! The second Thinking Driver Fundamental is ANTICIPATE HAZARDS. (Editor’s Note: Visit www.ishn.com for Spencer McDonald’s blog on the first fundamental, “Think and Look Ahead.”)
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.
There is no “I” in the word “team,” but according to one of our customers there is an “I” in safety – four of them, in fact. Four “I” words sum up what this customer believes it took to get his organization to begin the safety culture improvement journey.
The most effective individual in your company may be the employee safety committee member who has gained not only your trust but has done the miraculous job of bringing together the often-bickering functions of your organization. They can bring together union and management like my dear friend Tim Meier at Marathon Refining.
Numbers are very important to every aspect of our lives. Everything in life is measured by numbers. Your address has numbers so you can receive your mail delivery and, find you in case of emergency. Numbers help us keep track of all sorts of things like ball game scores, bank accounts, test scores, shoe size, shoe price, groceries, height and weight; everything has a number attached to it.
Editor’s Note: ISHN presents to you this excerpt from a speech on leadership given by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover in 1982. It is more evidence to the fact that much about “leadership” is timeless. The speech has nothing to do with safety, but its principles apply to workplace safety leadership in the most precise way.