Tag Archives: practice

Safety Differently @ Laing O’Rourke

treesfrombelowWhat have you done to enable safety differently in your organisation? In Laing O’Rourke we were very fortunate to have a leadership team that acknowledged our organisation’s health and safety performance had plateaued and were willing to explore and test new ways of working.   This was against the current industry approach to health and safety which we recognised as high in bureaucracy and overly controlling and sceptical in its approach to building trust amongst all … Continue Reading ››

Safety audits differently

auditSafety audits have become central to safety management and governance. However, many organisations have noted that safety audits may have limited usefulness and some problematic consequences. People I’ve spoken with have raised concerns that:
  • audits may not get a ‘true picture’ of what is going on
  • some projects suffer from audit overload
  • audits may damage cultures of trust
  • audits may drive a commitment to creating acceptable images of work, rather than improving the primary process that the audits are supposed to … Continue Reading ››

Coaching Differently

Basketball Tree 1 I have the great opportunity to coach my sons’ youth basketball teams and have done so now for about 6 years. As my sons age, the various age groups present new and interesting challenges and opportunities. In the early part of each season I search around on-line for advice and try to read about things to do and things not to do. While that is good, I’m realizing the best learning opportunity is right … Continue Reading ››

3 Realities for Second Class Industries

class systemThe safety advancements in industries like aviation, nuclear power and healthcare have been nothing short of extraordinary. In many ways, these industries have become the shining examples of what safety should be. These areas are by no way perfect and have room for advancement but there is a tendency for progressive and innovative thinking to be specific to these industries. However, we have lost our way in thinking that these are the only agencies where innovation can occur. … Continue Reading ››

The Exploration

file000541344089Recently I was leafing through a magazine while waiting patiently for my  morning caffeine hit and noticed that  nearly every second page seemed to contain advertising for the latest, most stylish designer wristwatches. It struck me that they  all fulfilled one basic need, that is to inform the wearer of the time of day. They can also provide a plethora of information to the user from fitness to entertainment. So what started as a basic need to be … Continue Reading ››

Moths to a Flame

DSCF4945In a land far, far away a very long time ago someone had an idea and tried to do something different with safety.

For my sins I started my career in safety working for the UK government. To be fair this was back in the 70s and 80s when the 1974 Robens inspired Act was starting to be felt and the proposed legislation on major hazard sites would see the end of the prescriptive nature … 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 ››

Accountability up, or responsibility down?

file0001652481771A few years ago, I learnt of a woman who was slightly injured at work. She told her supervisor, showed the injury, and went to see the doctor that same afternoon. While in the waiting room, she got a call from school. Her son had fallen ill and been sent home. After her appointment and having her gash cleaned and glued by a nurse, she rushed home to take care of her boy. She later informed her … Continue Reading ››

Don’t shoot the messenger

file0001939915281“The sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability.” Annex 13 of the Chicago Convention (ICAO, 2001) “… the report shall protect the anonymity of any individual involved in the accident or serious incident” (European Parliament and the Council, 2010). The report that is mentioned here is the final report of an investigating authority in … Continue Reading ››