Since health and safety initiatives and overall health and safety commentary seem to be focused towards frontline workers, Positional Leaders appear to be getting a free pass on the safety train that already left the station a long, long time ago.
Invited to do a workshop for a very large international corporation, I went out to a dinner where I sat next to the “grand poohbah” vice president in charge of all things quality and safety. He leaned over to me and said:
In the last decade or so many organizations have been placing more of a focus on Serious Injury and Fatality prevention (SIF). The theory behind the traditional “Safety Pyramid” (or Heinrich Safety Triangle) says if we reduce incidents at the “base” of the pyramid, it follows we will reduce incidents at the top of the pyramid at an approximately proportional rate.
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.
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.
It wasn’t until recently that we started understanding that people with different personalities tend to naturally pay more attention to safety attributes like work environment, people, equipment, processes, etc. based on their personality tendencies.
Hearing loss isn’t the first injury that comes to mind when an arc fault occurs. The light and heat emitted by the massive electrical explosion – the arc flash – can cause life-threatening and life-altering burns to the skin, compression injuries and loss of limbs if workers are left unprotected.
Among the articles in the May 2020 issue of ISHN Magazine, we talk to some EHS experts on the state of the safety industry amid the pandemic, detail the benefits of a Respiratory Protection Program, look at how portable gas monitor technology has evolved, and much more.