Safety 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 ››
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 ››
The 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 ››
Recently 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 ››
In 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 ››
I 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 ››
-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 ››
A 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 ››
Transportation officials said Wednesday that the driver of the Green Line train that crashed into another trolley docked at the Boylston Street Station last week was “solely responsible” for the accident and that he would be fired.
Accidents are surprising. That which previously was trustworthy, suddenly no longer is. And the mismatch between expectations and actual performance calls for an explanation.
To learn from failures organisations and societies institute accident investigations. The task of such probes is traditionally … Continue Reading ››