About 15 years ago, I read an important engagement story regarding a line worker with a major automotive manufacturer in the United States. The story evolved from an organizational push to gain more involvement from their workers at a time when it was critical.
The revised version of ISO 14001, the international standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS), will be published in September 2015. Greg Roberts, Manager of Sustainability and Mike Shaw, Senior Manager of Health & Safety (H&S) at Ramboll Environ, look at the changes and explore how it will align with the new ISO management system standard for occupational H&S, ISO 45001, being planned for publication in 2016.
Last week, Farid Fata, a Michigan doctor, was sentenced to 45 years in jail for subjecting more than 500 patients to cancer treatments they did not need so he could collect millions in insurance payments. According to CBS News, he told healthy patients they were sick, he told sick patients they were dying, and he told dying patients he was their only hope. All in order to file insurance claims.
From time-to-time, every organization struggles with procedural justice and safety. And I’ve begun to anticipate such challenges when various safety climate scores indicate such a concern which may be further highlighted through interviews and focus groups.
Two of Australia’s indigenous creatures, kangaroos and emus, have something in common – they seldom move backward. Kangaroos, because of the shape of their body and the length of their strong tail, can bounce along with forward movement, but they cannot easily shift into reverse.
When safety is a “line-function” and employees can answer some of their own questions, we increase our staff. In order to do this we need to: Provide tools to those in the field to help make solid safety decisions. "Teach them to fish, rather than fishing for them."
As an international safety speaker, I have the privilege of sharing safety stories with people all around the world. How often do your friends and family hear you talk about safety? Whenever a situation occurs in your life that illustrates a hazard you avoided or how safety knowledge protected you there is a natural opportunity to share that story with the people you care about.
Making mistakes is part of being human. There are many factors that contribute to making mistakes, including inattention, lack of experience and over-confidence. In recent years, the field of behavior-based safety has exploded. Much of its focus is on assessing why people make mistakes, and what to do about it.
The technical detail available to members of our profession is incredible. It also has the potential to be suffocating as the voluminous regulations, ISO policies, procedures, local site requirements, paperwork, basic training, etc. become overwhelming commitments of our time and effort. With all this focus on reactive and condition-based issues, where is the time for a safety engineering focus that goes beyond traditional safety?