Individual oversights and errors can and will eventually lead to unwanted consequences. However, we need multiple checks and balances that limit fallout and the continuance of loss, or possibly, an egregious event.
Whether you use ISO 45001, ANSI Z10, OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program or another management system, there are common elements. The most important are management commitment and leadership, and employee acceptance and participation in the system.
Yes, this is a story about errors - plural - made by one person, me. I’m not going to beat myself up here. James Reason, professor emeritus at the University of Manchester (UK), and one of the seminal authorities on human error, reminds us that most errors are caused by good, competent people who are trying to do the right thing.
You can’t deny the critical role of human dynamics when analyzing contributing factors to a workplace injury, or when developing interventions to prevent injuries and improve occupational safety and health.
How confident are you that a costly, serious safety event isn’t just around the next corner? If your organization has ever been surprised or caught off-guard by a sudden deterioration in its safety performance, it may be that you’re simply not getting the whole picture when it comes to operational risk.
A tricky thing, disciplining employees. Every safety pro has a story about discipline:“I had to terminate a woman in 1987 because her body odor was so repulsive, affecting other workers (and her boss… me),” says a pro who requested anonymity. “I remember progressive discipline... You bet I asked the HR manager for assistance.”
Recently a Hawaiian civil defense employee sent an emergency alert that a ballistic missile threat was headed for Hawaii, and that residents should seek shelter. It was a mistake, a human error. Panic ensued and it took 38 minutes to correct the error.
Changes in safety and health approaches are needed both in and outside of government. Many established beliefs and assumptions concerning government operations currently are being re-evaluated and questioned. This reset presents an opportunity.