Tag Archives: engagement

The principles of punk rock at work

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout the time I was born, a new musical genre emerged. Disillusioned with the rock music scene of the ’70s, a new music was created in the garages of the Western world: punk rock. What’s that got to do with work, or safety? With punk rock came an ideology that we could learn from. I recently read Seth Kahn-Egan’s distillation of the principles of punk rock, derived from his “own research into and experience with punk … Continue Reading ››

Wylfiwyf

file0001149983473“Go up there and spend some time.” The rather underspecified work assignment was exactly what I had been hoping for. For me, it was a chance to do safety differently. A month earlier I had carried out an incident investigation on the same site. I had used ICAM (Incident Cause Analysis Method), which is commonly used investigation methodology in the Australian construction industry. But using a tool designed to find holes in barriers had left me troubled. The … Continue Reading ››

Walk or talk?

P4010080I’m not sure whether it was my presence as a corporate representative, but the group ended up unusually large. It comprised our site safety manager, the client’s safety manager, the client’s client’s safety manager, and the site superintendent. We must have reached a critical mass because the site manager joined as well, and so did two other visitors from corporate. The task ahead was to do a Safety Walk. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a … Continue Reading ››

Respect is not just for the dojo

file000218346564I have close friends who study and teach Taekwondo. Variously they talk about ‘respect’. “The reason you bow to your opponent is that without him you would not have about” One relates a tale. One evening he had been taught by a Grand Master and, quite correctly, had bowed before and after his lesson. Later he had passed the Grand Master in the corridor without bowing. His immediate tutor reprimanded him with the words “Respect is not just for … Continue Reading ››

From the road less travelled

file000555565239-Analysis showed that 82-94% of our accidents and incidents were caused by ‘unsafe acts’. So the question was ‘how can we get our workers more motivated to do the right thing?’ Phil Stephenson, the Vice president for Health, Safety, Loss prevention & Security at Newmont Mining Corporation, had just started describing their journey to improving safety. For a few years Newmont Mining had noted that they were unable to take their safety records to the next level. They … Continue Reading ››

Lessons from the UK’s Peak District

file000767648536Question – What have limestone quarries in the UK’s Yorkshire and Derbyshire, and Health & Safety got in common? Answer – Apart from silicosis (which has now been addressed by wet cutting techniques), they have absolutely nothing in common. One produces a range of tough resilient building materials generically referred to as ‘aggregates’; the other produces a bland compliant uniform and weak structure. But before reaching fingers to keyboard in protest at such an outlandish comparison, please take time … Continue Reading ››

Step toward collaboration

DSC_0390_Iván_Melenchón_Serrano_MorgueFileLast year I attended a safety conference. The content was traditional: a heart wrenching accident story, a government representative showing statistics and explaining accident reduction goals, legal experts clarifying the latest regulatory advancements, and a corporate achiever informing about their program to get the workforce to comply. Celebrating this managerial top-down approach, there were moral undertones and an air of scientific precision. The problem was ‘out there’. Clearly. It was possible to measure it, and to manage it by … Continue Reading ››