Unfortunately, many organizations have a false perception that merely employing someone in a safety capacity is a risk control, as in, “Your Honor, we did our due diligence in safety… see, we hired a Safety Person (points to the ‘Safety Person’).”
U.S. Navy Captain Mike Abrashoff was given command of the USS Benfold at age 36, making him the youngest commanding officer in the Pacific fleet. His challenge was daunting: the destroyer with 310 sailors was a notable loser, with low morale and the highest turnover in the Navy.
Many safety and health pros early in their careers face the challenge of establishing their credibility.
The union steward had just recounted an incident where a supervisor asked one of his workers to step into standing water to work on corroded gauges near the coker. The work needed to be done immediately as it would delay ongoing maintenance on the fractionator to take on different stock feed.
Not many people walk around throughout their day with a risk assessment in hand. We should, however, always have an informal risk assessment tool in our mind that allows us to perform at least a cursory assessment until we can dig deeper or in a more formal way.
Most all of us have been around a boss or supervisor who isn’t very likeable or open to feedback. He or she is often avoided, and people may even fear approaching that boss with a safety-related concern or idea for improvement. Workers who perceive their bosses as open believe their leader really listens to their ideas and acts upon them when appropriate — or at the very least, gives their ideas a fair shake.
Impacting organizational culture is a long-term, never-ending endeavor. Many companies struggle with maintaining and sustaining cultural initiatives because their impact may not be felt for several years. Culture, as an organizational construct, is a subjective factor not directly measurable by any instrument, survey or metric. Yet, everyone is impacted by culture and can describe when it turns bad.
A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.Date: July 30, 2014
Among the articles in the April 2020 issue of ISHN Magazine, we get some expert advice on how to strengthen safety by emphasizing equipment reliability, discuss the methods that really work to identify hazards, consider ergonomic options in the materials handling industry, and much more.