What's hot, and what's not â€” this month's ISHN E-zine offers observations from the annual American Society of Safety Engineers' Professional Development Conference and Expo, where roughly 3,050 safety pros met this week in steamy New Orleans.
HOT - METRICS â€” NOT - PERCEPTIONS
The hunt for new measures of safety performance continues. Dan Petersen has published a new book on metrics. Organization Resources Counselors has produced a matrix of leading, trailing and financial metrics.
"The old OSHA recordables measure is an albatross on the profession," said Skipper Kendrick, former ASSE president, at one session. "They don't show you how to get better," said one attendee.
Another reason to get away from over-emphasizing injury incidence rates: "My president said, 'This year's number is higher than last year's number. Your program is not doing crap," related one attendee.
But perception surveys, an alternative metric advocated by Petersen and ORC, scare many companies afraid of opening a can of employee complaints. "Responses are so anecdotal they don't identify organizational causes of the perceptions," asserts BST in a handout distributed at the meeting.
The search continuesâ€¦
HOT - RISK â€” NOT - HAZARD
Slowly but surely "risk" is replacing "hazard" in the language of safety pros. ASSE's conference presented sessions on risk assessment, risk auditing and risk management. "Isn't everything in life a risk assessment?" asked one speaker.
Speaker Gary Lopez went so far to predict the death of the "safety manager," replaced by the title, "risk manager," which resonates more with loss-conscious management.
"Safety man" is obsessed with body counts, regulatory black magic, and hazards," said Lopez. He argued that "hazard" is an imprecise term that causes pros to lose focus, chasing dangers that may or may be significant. "Risks" sharpens the focus by quantifying and prioritizing hazards, he said.
HOT - MORPHING â€” NOT - STANDING STILL
It's 2005, what are you doing to keep yourself relevant? BST, a prominent ASSE expo vendor and pioneer in behavior-based safety, now espouses safety "as a foundation for excellence in reliability, productivity, quality, and profitability."
Dr. Scott Geller attracted long lines at the meeting for autographed copies of his new book, "People-Based Safety." Another BBS pioneer, Geller says in a handout: "Behavior-based safety is good, but People-Based Safety is great!"
ORC, exhibiting at the meeting for the first time, started in the 1970s with an OSHA compliance focus, offering clients access to key officials. With OSHA something of a lion in winter, ORC promotes its EHS executive business issues forum, its ties to European Union regulators, and has plans to develop an Asian-Pacific network.
Even the language of safety is morphing. Accidents are becoming known as incidents. Hazards become risks. Behaviors evolve into exposure events.
Still, change comes hard. "We need a Betty Ford clinic to wean professionals off reg-speak," said Gary Lopez.
HOT - PEOPLE â€” NOT - ORGANIZATIONS
The conference kicked off with a keynote by Curt Coffman of The Gallup Organization, describing how to "unleash human potential." He quoted Henry Ford, who lamented that all he wanted for his assembly lines was a pair of hands, but he kept getting human beings.
One hundred years later, safety pros are still trying to figure out how to deal with the whole person. Sessions at ASSE discussed behaviors, of course, plus attitudes, personalities traits and states, beliefs, values, emotions and egos. "People are messy," said Coffman.
But most pros still find it simpler and more direct to deal with "human factors" and "human error" than truly messy and Byzantine organizational structures and pressures.
"In the U.S you don't emphasize the role organizations play in creating risks or pressures," said an attendee from the U.K. "God forbid you drag the manager into it."
HOT - ENGAGE â€” NOT - ENFORCE
The verb of the hour is "engage." Every speaker at ASSE seemed to work it into his or her presentation.
Describing how to engage employees, Gallup's Coffman said, "Don't put in what was left out, draw out what was left in."
"EHS pros must get more engaged in global debates," urged ORC's Frank White in a session on what's driving EHS activity today. Right now, noses are pressed up against windows.
The last thing you want: employees with disengaged brains, said Lawrence Waterman, describing the freeze-out effect of too many rules and codes.
Actually, the last thing you might want is to be known as an "enforcer." Yes, there's still a place in the EHS world for enforcement â€” even acting OSHA chief Jonathan Snare slipped enforcement numbers into his speech. But you heard much more at ASSE about coaching, facilitating, advising, coordinating and of course, engaging.
HOT - BEST FRIENDS AT WORK â€” NOT - CEOs
Work world relationships are in. The most significant correlation to a company's number of workers' comp claims and incidents is whether or not employees say they have a best friend at work, according to Gallup's Coffman.
Many ASSE speakers tried to advise safety pros in the relationship business. Write notes, say 'thank you,' give high fives, smile, ask questions to build positive feelings, said speaker Rodney Grieve.
But many CEOs aren't faring well in the relationship game â€” to the detriment of safety efforts. Monday of conference week USA Today reported CEO departures have taken a "stunning leap." Among the world's 2,500 largest public companies, 14.2 percent left in 2004, versus 9.8 percent in 2003, according to one study. CEO "disengagements" are up 300 percent since 1995.
"I'm on my fifth president in five years," said one attendee. "To be honest, I don't know who's calling the shots." That makes long-term safety planning and initiatives problematic.
Just ask BST. Two months after Michael Griffin replaced Sean O'Keefe as NASA administrator, the space agency pulled the plug on its multi-million-dollar "culture change" contract with BST. "As is true with any organization, the new senior executive arrived with his own ideas and preferences for how the organization should be run and what issues should receive high priority," said BST in a web posting.
Many EHS pros will attest to that.
HOT - HARMONY â€” NOT - CONFLICT
"I want people feeling good," shouted Scott Geller to several hundred attendees at his session.
You can't duck discipline and malcontents, several speakers conceded, but clearly today the focus is on creating "great places to work" and "managing around weaknesses," as Gallup's Coffman said.
The case was also made for global harmony at the conference. Multi-national corporations don't want to contend with 25 different EHS management system laws around the world, said speaker Waterman. It makes it hard to transfer managers around and maintain quality consistency across global supply lines.
Work is also underway to harmonize material safety data sheet formats and content worldwide. Look for OSHA to give advance notice by the end of the year of its intent to revise the hazcom standard to conform with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System for classifying and labeling chemicals.
In this feel-good era of engaging and empowering employees to free their talents, as Coffman urged his audience, confrontation and conflict don't get a lot of air time at meetings like ASSE's.
OSHA's Snare spoke at length about "success stories" built on cooperation and partnerships, and the agency's 349 alliances.
Reality reared its ugly head at a training session led by Jonathan Klane, aka Trainer Man. Attendees wanted to know how to deal in a training class with Mr. Negative, the guy who always argues "no, that won't work, that won't work."
Answers from the floor: 1) Engage him, of course. 2) Empathize with him. 3) Challenge him â€” in a friendly way.
At ASSE's meeting, the "soft side" of safety carried the day, dominating the slate of sessions. "It's time we got more personal," said one attendee. "Engage hearts and minds before hands. Show genuine caring. That's a more effective message to employees."
HOT - BEADS â€” NOT - TIES
In a funky mood â€” Even OSHA boss Jonathan Snare gave his speech with four strands of silver and purple Mardi Gras beads hanging from his gray suit. Scott Geller was bedecked with beads autographing copies of his book.
On the other hand, only magazine ad salesmen and editors were observed wearing ties at the meeting. You could see them coming from the other side of the expo floor. Speakers, vendors, attendees â€” all were casual and informal. "Trainer Man" led one session wearing a red cape and pajamas.
Dave Johnson is the ISHN E-News editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (610) 666-0261; fax (610) 666-1906.
3E Company - Trusted Global Provider of Chemical, Regulatory and Compliance Information ServicesAre You Effectively Managing HazMat Spills? 3Eâ€™s Emergency Response Network Can Help!
3E Companyâ€™s Spill Emergency Response Service is the perfect solution for companies that need access to ER professionals and information in the event of a chemical spill. When an emergency situation results from a chemical release, customers access 3Eâ€™s hotline and receive:
- 24-7-365 access to chemical spill specialists using multi-language line translators
- Access to emergency spill responders
- Assistance with the disposal of hazardous wastes
Additional ER Network services include:
- Incident Management - manage, track, and monitor the costs associated with the incident
- Contractor Network â€“ a network of pre-screened and pre-qualified contractors
- Agency and Company Notification â€“ document and record all activities related to the spill event and notify designated contacts
Click here http://www.3ecompany.com/EmailPromo/promowp.asp?trkcde=OA-ER-61405-ISHN to learn more about 3Eâ€™s Emergency Response Network or call 1-800-346-6737
People-Based Safetyâ„¢Discover the next evolution in safety with People-Based Safetyâ„¢, a five-part training system that reshapes employee behaviors and attitudes.
People-Based Safetyâ„¢ goes beyond Behavior Based Safety by integrating the latest behavioral research findings with a person-focused approach. The system teaches four critical skills â€“ Acting, Coaching, Thinking and Seeing. When employees master all of the skills, they become responsible for their own safety and the safety of their coworkers.
Developed by Coastal Training Technologies and Dr. E. Scott Geller, People-Based Safetyâ„¢ is an innovative system that promotes safety and enhances your bottom line by reducing the costs associated with on-the-job injuries. This training system includes five workbooks, video programs or DVDs, and a comprehensive leaderâ€™s guide.
For information on Dr. Gellerâ€™s new book on People-Based Safetyâ„¢, as well as the five video/CD programs, accompanied by workbooks and leader guides, visit www.people-based-safety.com; email: email@example.com; (888) 201-8740
West Nile Virus ProtectionBe proactive against West Nile Virus with professional insect repellents from Tec Labs. The 10-Hourâ„¢ Insect Repellent has the most DEET you can find in a repellent and has been protecting workers for nearly 20 years against mosquitoes and ticks.
PowerDEET25â„¢ is a compound repellent with CDC recommended DEET and two extra repellents for repelling black flies, horse flies and biting flies.
Lastly, PowerDEET30â„¢ Insect Repellent Towelettes are twice as large as other repellent towelettes, are unscented and contain 30% DEET.
Visit www.teclabsinc.com or ask your local distributor about professional insect repellents from Tec Labs.
Behavioral Safety Now 2005:If you have any interest or involvement with Behavioral Based Safety you wonâ€™t want to miss this annual event.
Please join us for the Behavioral Safety Now Conference on October 4-6th in Jacksonville, FL where approximately 50 current case studies will be presented and leading experts on BBS will be there with keynotes or workshops.
Visit us online at www.behavioralsafetynow.com or call 281-593-1987 for more information.
The Safety CoachÂ® Saysâ€¦ You Can Champion Change!Overview: Very few people understand how individuals and groups come to accept and embrace cultural change in safety. Each of us works through various cycles of change ultimately committing to what is necessary if the change is handled appropriately.
This book will not only help you to understand the four cycles of change but will allow you to engage champions for change who will want to make the evolution toward safety excellence a reality in your organization. This book will make any reader believe that positive change is possible. It also highlights the eight most critical components of safety culture change.
The Safety CoachÂ® Says â€¦ is in story form â€” and its four main characters will engage and entertain you, as well as your future champions of change. Forward by Dave Johnson, Editor, Industrial Safety & Hygiene News. Item #SC008-BK
Orders can be made by visiting: http://www.davidsarkus.com/estore_book.html
Single book orders are $19.95 + $5.00 for shipping and handling. For bulk orders please phone: 1-800-240-4601
Books from ASSEYou can order these titles and more from the American Society of Safety Engineers Bookstore on ISHN's Web site. Visit â€” http://www.ishn.com/FILES/HTML/ISHN_ASSE_index/
Among the books you'll find:
- "Refresher Guide for the Safety Fundamentals Exam"
- "The Participation Factor," by Dr. E. Scott Geller
- "Safety Training That Delivers"
- "Building a Better Safety and Health Committee" â€¢
- "Safety Management - A Human Approach," and "Techniques of Safety Management - A Systems Approach," both by Dan Petersen.
MARKET RESEARCHISHN offers exclusive market research survey reports including White Papers, Online Training Editorial Study, Web-based Training Study, Salary Study, Hygiene Instrument Study, PPE Study, and more... CLICK HERE http://www.ishn.com/FILES/HTML/ISHN_market_research_index/0,5680,,00.html to learn more about these studies.
DIRECT MAILLook to ISHN's 73,000+ subscribers for your next direct mail campaign. For customized lists, call toll free: 1-800 323-4958; Fax: 1-630-288-8390; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.dm2lists.com
WE NEED YOU!Are you a safety and health pro or a manufacturer or provider of occupational safety and health products or services who enjoys writing?
Shakespeare need not apply, but ISHN is looking for authors to publish short articles (1,000 words) in our monthly issues.
Topics include: safety success stories, close calls and personal experiences, training tips, use of software, engineering controls (machine guards, lockout-tagout), gas detection and air monitoring, confined space safety, personal protective equipment, and OSHA compliance issues.
If any of these topics interest you â€” or if you have other ideas â€” e-mail editor Dave Johnson at email@example.com
We will also consider articles youâ€™ve already written but not submitted to any safety magazine.