One of the questions I am constantly asked is “why can’t OSHA get anything done?” A fair question with a difficult answer. It would be easy to simply respond that OSHA is subject to a lot of politics, and I mean a lot of politics. It would also be easy to simply answer that it depends on who asked the question, and more importantly, when they asked it.
The Mossad? The Mossad is Israel’s intelligence service with a reputation for respect, fear, professionalism, boldness, expertise and execution surrounded by myth and mystery. In his book, “The Secret History of the Mossad,” author Gordon Thomas quoted the operating principles – or the cultural values -- for the agency as laid down by Meir Amit, a legendary Mossad director. I paraphrase:
One driving attitude that can get us into trouble and stress us out is an obsession with getting around the guy in front of us. Do you need to be at the front of the line? Common sense tells us that there really is no front of the line to reach, so to try and get there by weaving through traffic and passing anyone in front of us is a losing proposition.
Have you ever noticed certain laws go entirely disobeyed? Back in the ‘70s when the speed limits were dropped to 55 mph across the United States, almost no one followed the law. Lately, I have noticed a similar phenomenon to the laws regarding hands-free cellular phone use and texting while driving.
In the current issue of the Harvard Business Review the cover story details how senior-level executives, both men and women of course, deal with the work-life balance hassle. The takeaway: everyone struggles with it; there are options that depend on things like ambition, age, individual financial resources, and individual support networks.
We all engage in activities outside of work that have risks. In our personal lives, it is normal for our risk tolerance to increase; however, with increased risk comes increased probability of injury. A recent National Safety Council (NSC) report revealed that about 70% of all medical case injuries occur off the job, along with about 90% of fatal injuries.
I'm a liar. There, I said it. I lie. I lie sometimes when I'm in a social situation and my line of work is questioned. If I know I’ll never see these folks again, I might just tell them that I'm a painter. “I paint houses” I might say.
I was going online to publish this week's newsletter when I saw the coolest notice. "Due to dangerous weather conditions, our offices are closed today and we will have limited technical support available. Thank you for understanding."
I was at a trade show last week where if I heard this mantra once, I heard it from different people ten times: “We’re doing everything we can to take costs out of our business.” There were variations on the theme: “It’s all about cost reduction, baby.” “We’re helping our customers drain costs out of their system.”
Dr. Dan Petersen was one of the great safety pioneers of the last 50 years. His focus was consistently on developing a viable safety culture that lived safety accountabilities at all levels of the organization. Organizations fully utilizing his Six Criteria for Safety Excellence are among the leaders in safety performance. These criteria are: