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As a famous cliché reads: the devil is in the details. I often get asked about the details of a viable safety accountability culture. An example of visible executive involvement is personal commitment to safety accountability (S/A), to be involved in a review and discussion of appropriate actions for all significant incidents and near misses.
Even though a near-miss incident on a job site may cause no injuries or property or equipment damage, it can give a company a heads’ up about a need for early intervention, thereby enabling it to improve its safety performance. That point is made in Near Miss Reporting – a Missing Link in Safety Culture, a peer-reviewed feature in the May issue of the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) journal, Professional Safety.
The search for viable leading indicators to replace lagging injury statistics is a hot safety topic these days. I do not believe we will ever be rid of injury rates as a metric used to judge safety performance.
With the death toll now exceeding 350, the collapse last week of a factory building in Bangladesh helps focus attention on International Workers’ Day – May 1 -- as well as Workers’ Memorial Day and National Day of Mourning (in Canada), both of which were yesterday but continue to be observed in ceremonies this week.
A few weeks ago, I heard a story on NPR about the factors that make video games so enjoyable, exciting and immersive. In short, why playing video games makes people happy. Tony Hsieh’s book “Delivering Happiness” is the first I look to when I think about creating a great culture.
To make a change in an industry’s safety performance, the first necessary element is a guiding coalition/steering team that will help work with the various idea/solution providers and the wide ranging customer base and its leadership. My team, Caterpillar Safety Services, has worked with similar guiding coalitions in: the wind industry; the electrical transmission and distribution industries, an OSHA strategic safety partnership; the North West Public Power Association (NWPPA); the National Mining Association, as well as large, decentralized industrial companies.
I use a concept called the Six Levels of Safety Performance as a practical model that takes an organization from a fundamental safety regs approach all the way through to an organization that is passionately engaged in leading the relentless pursuit of a zero-incident safety culture.
There’s a link between how organizations are structured and how strong their commitment to safety is, according to an article in this month’s ASSE Professional Safety journal, The Dissenting Voice – Key Factors, Professional Risks and Value Add.
This standard establishes the elements and activities for pre-project and pre-task safety and health planning in construction.
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