Longtime, former ISHN editor Dave Johnson opines on hot topics and issues concerning the safety professional, such as risk management, climate change, chemicals and diversity. His decades of experience covering safety give him a unique outlook on the current state of the profession.
Money is behind the hollowness of many companies’ stop work policies. Sure, if you see something, say something. A change in weather conditions. An emergency situation. A near-miss incident. A lack of knowledge as to how to proceed. Unsafe conditions. Equipment used improperly. All legitimate risks. All often ignored by the workers who have the authority to halt work. Why?
How many safety pros give CEOs a pass when it comes to safety? How many lower their expectations of what CEOs should do for safety?As a rule, the majority of CEOs have no schooling in occupational safety and health. They distance themselves from it, consciously or unconsciously.
A bias exists that white collar workers — more than their blue collar counterparts — are more prone to burn out, anxiety, depression, stress overload, work-life imbalances, emotionally draining work, and have a strong need for rest, gratitude and recognition. But that's not true.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos laid down the gauntlet in his April 2021 farewell letter to shareholders as he stepped down as CEO: "We are going to be Earth’s best employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work.” OK, Jeff, here’s a question: What makes a company the planet’s safest place to work?
OSHA is old news at this point, especially for companies with mature safety and health programs. For many companies with full-time professionals it is a time of looking inward, internally within the organization.
Opinions are most divisive over a risk-related question: will climate change harm you personally? A 2021 Yale poll found a split (47 percent yes – 45 percent no). OK, so maybe baby boomers and older adults get a pass. But their kids?
Critics argue diversity, equity and inclusion and associated values and programs are simply superficial, trendy attempts to look good. Nothing more than social issues greenwashing. But the more I researched into diversity in the business world, the more I realized there’s nothing trendy or new about it.