Creative Destruction - Part 3
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CREATIVE DESTRUCTION - Part 3
This is the third of ISHN's three-part (6/6, 6/13, 6/20) look at applying the economic concept of "creative destruction" to safety and health programs, and the careers of safety and health professionals.
6/6 - Creative Destruction: The Price of Progress
6/13 - Don't Build Safety Programs to Last
6/20 - Cashing In On Chaos
If you want to read all three parts of our "Creative Destruction" series in one file (approximately 4,000 words), email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
It's going to be tricky for any safety and health professional - and his or her program - to simply "hang in there" against the arrayed forces of creative destruction:
But creative destruction creates new opportunities as it demolishes old roles and operating methods. At the AIHC, NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard outlined emerging issues that safety and health pros, and their programs, will be forced to address:
"Work organization needs to be promoted as a cohesive field of study," said Howard. "It will force us to reprioritize our current workplace injury and illness goals" because an employee's physical and psychological stability in the midst of radical organization pressures "is critical to his or her survival as a human being."
Immigrant safety and health
"How can I be sure that my training is being understood by foreign-born workers to whom English is a second language?" asks one safety pro. "I'm subcontracted to a company that has 90 percent Indian (Asian) employees, five percent West-Indian and five percent Americans. The Indians don't fully understand, read or speak English and the West-Indies speak French/English."
Skyrocketing health care costs are one of the toughest challenges facing Ford Motor Co., Chairman and CEO Bill Ford Jr. said in a recent speech. Rising prices of health benefits is the "biggest issue on our plate that we can't solve," Ford said.
In early June, the Washington Times reported that an internal CIA report concludes that a likely goal of al Qaeda and related groups is to launch attacks using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. According to the newspaper, the unclassified report identified several deadly toxins and chemicals that al Qaeda could use in attacks, including nerve gases, germ weapons and radiological dispersal devices, also known as "dirty bombs."
Bioterrorism seminars packed meeting rooms at the AIHC in Dallas. Weapons of mass destruction identification and risk assessment is a new, emerging specialized field, said one speaker.
"For too long, we've paid scant attention to the threat that communicable diseases pose to workers and workplace productivity," said Howard.
CASHING IN ON CHAOS
OK, what's it take to cash in on creative destruction? To "deconstruct, transform, and rebuild", as one management expert says, careers and programs?
The goal: Develop safety and health careers, and programs within organizations, that evolve with changes in the marketplace and meet the market's demand for value.
This requires safety and health pros to be more than record keepers and inspectors, vapor or noise samplers, or OSHA police, says consultant Tom Lawrence.
Here are some suggestions from students of creative destruction:
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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 - or if you have other ideas - e-mail editor Dave Johnson at email@example.com
We will also consider articles you've already written but not submitted to any safety magazine.