This is the time of year when OSHA announces their top ten citations of the past fiscal year. There are few changes in this top- ten list year after year. Even though the list is of the complete standard’s name, it is usually only one or two sections of a standard that repeatedly makes this list.
In 2005 I completed a dissertation on the effectiveness of safety awards on reducing at-risk behaviors. Although not primarily directed at safety, I was surprised to learn that there is a goodly amount of literature on the subject; particularly within the behavioral sciences.
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.