Safety Statistics. These are often the last thing on anyone's mind when it comes to developing or maintaining a safety program. At least, that is, until it blows up in your face.
I've seen it happen way to often...a small business sort of 'wings it' when it comes to safety statistics, and they screw it up and it comes back to bite them in the ass.
Don't want this to happen to you? Then there are two things I want you to do...
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I've seen way too many small businesses get bogged down with the details of an action plan from an external audit. And not all aspects of the audit necessarily apply to their organization. In this week's video I talk about how you need to make an intentional decision about losing audit points if some aspects of the audit don't apply to your organization.
Have you ever had to do this? I'd love to hear from you! Send us a message and let's start a conversation!
Hey friend – I’m not sure what role you play exactly. Maybe you are the general manager of a small business. Maybe you are the safety administrator. Hell, maybe you are the owner of a small business. Whatever your title is, my bet is that if you’ve ended up on our email list then you are a leader of some kind.
But leaders don’t become leaders by accident. At least not true leaders. True leaders are people that see the best in others and do whatever they can to draw those strengths out. They want to see them grow. They give them every opportunity to succeed, to contribute to the success of the organization.
What does this look like in the world of safety? So often safety is full of rules and guidelines and ‘you shall do this’ and ‘you shall not do that’. And some folks that are considered safety managers or safety leads end up policing and enforcing those rules, which is a huge drag for everyone. No one wants to be policed, no one wants...
In the 1905 book "The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress" Spanish philosopher George Santayana give us the famous (and often paraphrased) quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".
In 2020 Deidra Helmig of Boreal Services Group Inc. says, "If you don't put effort into corrective actions you're going to have the same incident happening again and again". Is Deidra the modern day equivalent of Santayana? I'll let you be the judge.
After an incident, we all want to find out what happened (root cause), and when we get that root cause we can work towards making sure a repeat incident doesn't happen. What is a corrective action? Well, if this is new for you we can look at the definition in CSA Z1000 Occupational health and safety management:
Corrective action — action taken to remove or control the cause of an OHSMS (occupational health and safety management system) nonconformity,...
But you know what's even worse?
When you have an incident and it's all in vain. No one learns anything. The safety program doesn't improve. Somebody just gets hurt or property gets damaged and every feels like crap and morale goes down and everyone goes on their merry (aka shitty) way. It doesn't have to be that way. Incidents suck, but there CAN be positives that come from them. Read on, friend...
Incident investigations aren't good or bad, they're learning opportunities. Yes, the incidents themselves can be bad, but the investigations should start with the goal of "let's figure out how we can stop incidents like this from every happening again". If we conduct a thorough incident investigation but we can't prevent similar incidents from happening, then all that effort is in vain.
In the March 2020 issue of Occupational Health & Safety, Robert Pater's article "Dynamic Leadership Means Going Beyond Asking...
The 1998 movie "Sliding Doors" looks at 2 parallel realities. In one reality the Helen (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) just misses her train (the doors slide closed...get it? Sliding Doors) and in the next reality she just barely catches her train. The movie looks at the differences and similarities Helen's reality resulting from the sliding doors. It's a "what if?" type of thought experiment.
We can conduct our own alternate reality thought experiments by investigating near misses. A near miss (or near hit) is a gift wrapped tool you can use to analyze your safety program, your procedures, your resources, and really just about anything else you can think of.
A near miss presents a risk-free opportunity to ask "what if?" questions, and these questions can look into the future...
If this was an actual lost-time incident how would it affect production?
and the questions can go into the past...
There's been an incident. An excellent field level hazard assessment controlled the risk, but also included additional PPE in the event the control failed...so make sure you treat your FLHA like a critical piece of PPE. Anyway, who do we blame? Quick answer is NOBODY. We're looking for a root cause, we're not looking to place blame. Why? Well, if we looked to blame someone for an incident, you'd likely find everyone involved to be far less cooperative, or overly cooperative in looking to throw someone else under the bus. In Canada we even have a law that says you can't testify against yourself...but thankfully we're talking about an incident investigation and not a trial, so you don't have to worry about that law.
Gord Winkel, teaching professor at the University of Alberta specializing in safety, and former Syncrude VP, gave...
Imagine you are at the starting gate of a race (any race - cars, horse, a foot race, riding giant turtles...whatever...it's your imagination!). It's you and all of your competition. Not just race competition, but your business competition. Take a second and think of them all now. Who is beside you at the starting line?
Now, look to the finish line. You know what's there? The finish line is winning the dream bid. And only one of you will get it.
The starting pistol explodes and you and and your competition are off! You can see the finish line clearly and you're barrelling towards it, competition at your heels!
All of sudden hurdles pop up! Where the hell did they come from?!?!
First - YOUR PEOPLE - do you have the right workers with the right skill sets to ace the job? Sure you do! While clearing the hurdle you glance over your shoulder and see one of your completion stumble...
Next hurdle - do you have the EQUIPMENT needed for this job? Of course you do! This type of...
Unless you live under a rock, you are well aware of the global movement towards racial equality that is happening right now. Change is not only happening in the streets of the US, but it's happening in governments around the world, in corporations, non-profits, churches, and schools, and in city councils right here in Canada.
Change is indeed happening, on a massive scale. Changes in policing, changes in attitudes, changes in marketing, changes in accountability. You know what else is changing? We're seeing workplace behaviours change, and we're going to see them change for the foreseeable future.
Already, there have been movements towards calling out harassment and racial inequality in the workplace. We've seen high profile cases in the news at the local, provincial, federal and global levels. What I've noticed however, is that small businesses can sometimes fly under the radar.
All small businesses still have leaders...
This blog post wasn't part of my original plan when we started mapping out this series, but a recent story from a friend prompted a change in strategy. As with our previous Back to Work posts, this is aimed at businesses that are re-opening in the midst of COVID-19.
To reiterate: the world is not normal, the economy is not normal, businesses are not operating normally. The third planet from the Sun is still in the midst of a global pandemic...but despite this, some businesses are re-opening and trying to safely operate in the weirdness.
Businesses will likely have new procedures for cleaning, client relations, shipping & receiving, and scheduling. This is going to be new territory for a lot of businesses which means your 3:30 pm appointment might become a 4:00 pm appointment or even a 4:30 pm appointment. Businesses will adapt to the new reality, but there might be some bumps along the way.
Unfortunately, some clients will not like the...
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