The ISHN Blog

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

Be the Change - Nelson Mandela

December 18, 2013

I had been warmly welcomed to South Africa. We were there to work with a mining construction company who wanted to solve their safety challenge. The immensity of this challenge hit us on our day off while we dealt with our jet lag.


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C.A.R. – Safety acronyms that make a difference in performance

December 17, 2013

I often use TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) to add humor and make an impact in my safety teaching. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • ROI – Return On Investment
  • FNG – Fantastic New Guy
  • FOG – Fantastic Old Guy

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Risks and road rage: Why driver safety is more than just skill

December 13, 2013

When we survey drivers during our training courses, we regularly have over 90% of participants rating themselves as better than average drivers. You probably fall into this group too. It’s almost certainly true; most of the time at least. I have conducted thousands of driving evaluations over 25 years and have run across very few really bad drivers.


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Reminding management of the importance of your safety activities

December 12, 2013

As people were gathering for the meeting, Ami, the safety professional who had brought me to their site, thanked one of the employees for being at the evening session. The employee replied, “Management ‘strongly recommended’ we attend.” By the tone of his voice, he made it clear his leadership was doing all but making attendance at the meeting mandatory.


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Safety pros hang in there

December 11, 2013

It’s important to realize the leading reason for people leaving their job is, “They don’t like their supervisor or their boss.” Now consider that safety pros understand how meaningful their job is, and thus are more likely than others to put up with a non-supportive boss. Others quit their job. More safety pros stick with their meaningful work in spite of a “bad” boss than do other workers.


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Stuck in the Now – Getting beyond crisis management

December 10, 2013

A popular business concept has organizations searching for how they can look to the future while still dealing with day-to-day crisis events.  These mini and maxi disruptions come from things like weather disasters, fatalities, spills and the like…and suck our resources dry. Those of you who have experienced such career-shaking times know that pretty much all non-crisis activities and plans cease while you are in the midst of the moment—which seems like it will never end!


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Your spring cleaning - Are you behind?

December 6, 2013

When I was a young boy, I marveled at the time and effort my mother put into her annual spring-cleaning.  Mom planned a great deal – shopping for her supplies early to make sure that she never had to start and stop once she got moving. And mom was really focused on every detail of cleaning the windows, walls, floors, and all of the furniture.


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Proposed: Change our name from the safety profession to the injury prevention profession

December 4, 2013

For the record, I’m against euphemisms; I believe masking the inadequacies or social stigma of one state by calling it something else is wrong-headed and pathetic. I’ve been called a lot of things, but politically correct isn’t one of them.


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Stars and clouds – Your future goals

December 3, 2013

Safety professionals protect working class employees in countries all around the world.  In every situation, we touch the lives of people who labor daily for an hourly wage.  Industries, technologies and risks may change, but a common factor remains: men, women (and children) who work the front line, producing what the rest of the world purchases.


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Your sphere of influence

November 29, 2013

I like Subway and a few times a month I eat there. But there’s one location I no longer visit. Here’s why. There’s a young worker who is impolite, very impersonal, and at times, just downright mean and nasty.  She certainly takes the “customer” out of “customer service.” I stopped going there because it’s a negative experience and I have alternatives.


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