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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Saturday, May 18, 2013, David Michaels PhD, MPH, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, gave the commencement address at the George Washington University School of Public Health.