Safety Incentives are increasingly eyed with suspicion by regulators who worry inappropriate incentives might lead to under reporting of injuries. Unfortunately, many organizations have legacy systems that provide financial rewards for injury-free time periods.
How many times do you hear someone say safety needs to be a habit? I think people who are great at something display more than outstanding habits; they demonstrate outstanding skill. It is easy to mistake a skill for a habit.
It’s not being smart. It’s not your experience level. It’s not your education. None of these are the determining factor between why one person is successful at work and another is not. It’s something else that few people know about.
Everything we “know” is retrospective. Humans have unlimited hindsight but limited foresight. This is most apparent in the preoccupation with counting injury statistics. Statistics in themselves don’t tell us the “story” of what they mean; significance is subjectively determined.
Employees naturally want to feel “psychologically safe” when they express emotions, air complaints, or make suggestions. You know your workplace is psychologically safe when employees take interpersonal risks when communicating with team members and up the chain of command.
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.
If you’ve made even the most cursory read of my articles and blogs you probably already know that I don’t hold much stock in Behavior Based Safety (BBS). I believe that except for the odd statistical outlier nut-job, nobody WANTS to get hurt and unless they were designed by the Marquis De Sade you processes aren’t intended to hurt people.
Hazards come in many shapes and sizes—from the physical to the behavioral and all points in between. And the efficacy with which hazards are identified to a large extent shape the overall effectiveness of your safety management system. So what happens when your personal or organizational biases prevent you from seeing things accurately and honestly?
Discipline is among the most confusing and controversial topics in safety. On one hand, it is obvious that companies must have safety procedures and rules. And once those rules are established, it is crucial to support and enforce them. Managers know—as company attorneys routinely remind them—that if they know about a safety rule violation and they ignore it, they put themselves at risk.