- ISHN GLOBAL
- EHS RESEARCH
Let’s be clear, there is no such thing as a safe workplace. Sure we can slap each other on the back and brag to one another about the four years without a recordable injury and we can tell ourselves that we have achieved a Utopian risk-free workplace but the reality is, there is always some probability that a worker will be harmed in the course of doing his or her job.
Unlike most other business measures—think earnings growth or debt load—the traditional measures of safety performance tell us little about where existing functioning actually is, and where it is headed. The deficiency of safety measurement in describing actual performance is so common as to be a cliché. The reality is that there are many variables that determine the quality of safety functioning, variables that could be detected with the right set of metrics, processes, and analysis.
The Sunday New York Times (Jan. 20) had an article, “The Art of Adding Through Taking Away,” with the “art” both philosophical and pragmatic. The underlying theme should be familiar to many of you: it is a variation of Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS), dumb it down, keep it short and sweet, don’t complicate matters, don’t over-think.
In the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” a brief exchange occurs between a CIA subordinate and his boss at Langley HQ. The subordinate and his team are frustrated. The higher-ups are not with aggression pursuing leads that the team believes could track down Bin Laden. “I wonder,” says the subordinate. “how do you assess the risk of doing nothing?”
I was reading something yesterday where the writer described a person as being at that point in their life where they are saying, “been there, done that, is that all there is?” ISHN reader surveys have pointed out what’s already well-established: the EHS professional ranks are top-heavy with graying baby boomers beyond age 50.
Positive thinking is deeply embedded in American culture, and in American business culture. I’ve worked with enough magazine publishers and advertising sales reps who would be seriously non-productive if not for their “can do, will do” spirit. But here is a counter-intuitive thought: Psychotherapist Albert Ellis, who died in 2007, was a pioneer of the negative path, and he once said the best way to address an uncertain future is to focus on the worst that can happen, instead of the best-case scenario.
One objection of mine to adding more OSHA standards is that the standards cited frequently (top ten in frequency) remain generally the same year to year. Sometimes they shift position in frequency order. Sometimes the numbers of citations trend up or down, but generally it all remains in a controlled range.
This standard establishes the elements and activities for pre-project and pre-task safety and health planning in construction.
With access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.