The ISHN Blog

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ISHN editors and invited bloggers sound off on headline news, controversies and emerging issues.

Sustaining culture change by building a safety infrastructure

October 30, 2013

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.


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The four “I” words behind safety culture excellence

October 29, 2013

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.


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The fear “work-around” to get better reporting

October 28, 2013

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.


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The numbers trap

October 24, 2013

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.


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Doing a job

October 23, 2013

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.


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Driving fundamentals: Eyesight is not vision

October 16, 2013

Invisible. Sometimes I feel like the invisible man. Mostly, when I ride the motorcycle. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 13 years old and my start in this business was teaching others to ride. If there is one thing that riding a bike teaches you, it’s that you are on your own out there.


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Leadership regrets

October 16, 2013

In last week's blog, I told a story of an employee directing traffic at a fast-food restaurant opening. Thinking about that incident made me think about the thoughts of the managers at the local store and even at the corporate office if he had been hit and injured while in the path of one of the hundreds of cars arriving at the restaurant.


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Eight safety culture takeaways

October 14, 2013

Eliminate or reduce any safety vs. productivity conflicts. Adopt and enact the philosophy and vision that ‘safe production is the number one priority’. Develop a safety partnership between management and employees. Actively involve employees in the safety improvement effort in meaningful ways.


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Safety in the digital age: Regulating distracting devices

October 11, 2013

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.


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Hacked into – Recovering from tragedy

October 8, 2013

Not that long ago, I opened the wrong email and got hacked into. My address book totally disappeared. My file system was corrupted and rendered useless. All those in my contact list received a message that my wife and I were being held hostage in Spain, and they needed to send off $2,500 to bail us out.


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