The ISHN Blog

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

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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Safety culture – No and hell no!!!

October 7, 2013

Every time I see or hear the term strong safety culture I cringe. The focus on building a strong safety culture is terribly misplaced. Safety excellence is a more likely outcome for an enterprise that clearly values and cares for its employees and includes safety as a strategic element of its organizational culture.

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No Regrets

October 4, 2013

Driving south from Indianapolis through a beautiful portion of Indiana, I see a Chick-Fil-A off the highway ahead. I turn off the main road and see a young employee standing in the middle of the street directing traffic (coincidentally, it was a new store opening).

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Anti Social Networking

October 3, 2013

I speak my mind, in person and in print. Some like it some do not. I don’t really care if people don’t like my style—different strokes for different folks I’ve always said.  But recently I have seen an alarming spike in a lack of manners and civility among the denizens of the so-called social media.

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Sustainability and communications, now and soon

More companies will get it wrong than right
October 2, 2013

It was apparently Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher who died in 1662, who first coined the phrase: "I didn't have time to write you a short letter, so I've written you a long one." A version of this line was famously later adopted by Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln and George Bernhard Shaw.

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General MacKenzie – the importance of face time

October 1, 2013

Over the years I have met a number of interesting people. One of my favorites is a person whom I consider to be a Canadian National Treasure, retired Major General Lewis MacKenzie.

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Holding accountable those who put workers’ lives at risk

September 30, 2013

An editorial in the New York Times last week praised the work of federal prosecutors in West Virginia for their pursuit of justice in their investigation into the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine tragedy. Those prosecutors deserve the praise. However, the editorial misses an important point.

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Talk to me – What is effective safety communication?

September 24, 2013

You probably have heard a saying that goes something like “If you are safe, it is not by accident.”  The world of inspirational posters continues to be an industry that papers our facility walls with good looking, feel good platitudes that have no real, positive impact on safety.

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ASSE's Safety 2013 Review

A photo gallery from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 24 to 27. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.


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