Tag Archives: Safety drivers

How to improve OHS through Human and Organisational Performance

Understanding how Australian, or indeed international corporations fare with regards to Human and Organisational Performance (HOP) requires us to reflect upon both what we measure and what optimal performance looks like. The term Human and Organisational Performance describes the interactions and interdependencies of humans and organisa- tions in the execution of work. Used within a professional practice context, it has come to be paradigmatic of a broad range of relativ- ist and … Continue Reading ››

The Shop Keeper

DSC00139The head of marketing for a major clothing brand imparted a metaphor to me that struck a nerve. He called himself a “Shop Keeper”. Daily he would consider his customer - what are they interested in? What makes them unique? What do they want? What would inspire them? Why would they be interested in his product? He told me he would spend most of his day creating beautiful and exciting products for his shop anticipating and celebrating the uniqueness … Continue Reading ››

The cost of behavioural transactions

SONY DSCSome workplaces I have visited use so called ‘scratchies’ to encourage and reward ‘safe behaviours’. Managers typically hand out such lottery tickets to employees who report hazards, come up with improvement ideas, or have filled out a risk assessment card in an exemplary way. Some workplaces have been known to give out rewards to drive more generic performance, such as giving everyone a toaster when passing 500 days without a Lost Time Injury. Reward schemes like … Continue Reading ››

Zero pessimism

file000637574664The Enlightenment once suggested that if we are smart, if we think harder about a problem with those minds we can trust, then we can make the world a better place, we can constantly improve it. Modernism says that technical-scientific rationality can create that better, safer, more predictable, more controllable world for us. We might achieve workplaces without injuries, incidents or accidents. If, for example, we plan the work carefully, if we design well and train, discipline, … Continue Reading ››

4 ways to embrace uncertainty

file0001342045157How can we know that we are safe? Facing complex situations and an undefined future requires an idea about the mechanisms that keep harm at bay. However, the ambiguity of the present and uncertainty of the future leaves wide latitude for interpretations and inferences. Consequently, people rely on a variety of understandings and ways of being in relation to safety. The groups below are not mutually exclusive, nor is it an exhaustive list. My preference will be obvious, … Continue Reading ››

Don’t walk the talk

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASafety does not exist. At least not in itself. There are no ‘from above’ given signs that inform us what safety is, how it works, where the boundaries are or will be, or how safety should optimally be understood. Whatever ‘safety’ is, it must be a human construction - a social convention on how to see and talk about certain aspects of reality. This is not to deny the often tragic reality of ‘accidents’, … Continue Reading ››

Compliance paralysis

file000704919536Recently, a friend of mine visited a construction site. The site was in the middle of nowhere, in the Australian outback, and my friend was there for a one day boardroom meeting. After the 1 hour site induction in a building near the gate, a group of six visitors left the building with their host. Walking over to the meeting room, the group had to cross a road. The host took out a form and said: -I don’t see any … Continue Reading ››

Behind the scenes

file000577928669The words 'risk taking' and 'safety professional' aren't often used together. Sure, we have heard the story of the safety professional who failed a site drug and alcohol test. The safety professional who didn't follow the working at heights procedure. Well, I'm not talking about these people or this type of risk taking. I think that we should be taking risks in safety. Safety is not going to improve if we keep doing the same things. How can we expect change if we aren't prepared … Continue Reading ››

It’s not what, but who you know

file000912049364It has been some 20 years since I was in the dating scene. And I am sure that in that time things have changed. But some things must have stayed the same. Sometimes you are lucky enough to meet an interesting person. Someone that you would like to spend time with, see where it leads. This is where you have a few options. One is to try to impress them, dazzle them with your personality, wow them … Continue Reading ››