Archive for the ‘Accountability’ Category

I do not understand WHY leaders chose not to support safety.  It is a proven fact that organizations with superb safety programs and outstanding safety results have better operating metrics (scrap, productivity, etc) than those organizations that don’t.   In other words – if you can get safety right, you will get everything else right.

Is it that leaders do not understand safety?   Is it that leaders do not see value in safety?  Is it that leaders think safety is a waste of time?   Is it that leaders think safety takes too much time?    Or is it a combination of all of these items?   As leaders, we have an obligation to provide a safe workplace to all of our employees.    Certainly leaders who chose not to support safety, chose not to take their obligations seriously.   Leaders need to understand that safety can be their key to driving world class results – if you can get safety right, you will get everything else right.

There was an old business saying that is very applicable here – “If you can’t change the leader, change the leader”.    If leaders chose not to support safety, it’s time change the leader.    WHY?   Because safety is the most important aspect of any organization!

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

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Look around – can you SPOT one thing that is not safe?    What if everybody could SPOT one thing that is not safe each and every day?    Wouldn’t we be so much better off?

I find that employees do SPOT things that are not safe but typically do not say anything.   Why?  First, they believe that nothing will be done about it.   Second, they feel it’s not their job, and third, they feel that somebody else will take care of it.    How do we change this going forward?

If we have leaders (managers, supervisors, leads, etc) that will do nothing about something that is not safe – it’s time to get new leaders!    Safety should be the first priority of any leader.   We have an obligation to provide a safe workplace.   Any safety issue – no matter how minor – needs to be addressed.    We need to ensure that every employee feels comfortable reporting any safety issue that they SPOT.

We need to change our culture.   We need every employee to understand that safety is their job.   We want every employee to go home in the same condition that they came to work.  We want every employee to understand that it’s their responsibility to report any safety issue that they SPOT, no matter how minor.  We need to create a culture where it is unacceptable to not report it.

This is  a really a simple concept – it just requires trust and accountability.   I am going to encourage every employee to SPOT one thing that is not safe each day – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

I have looked at our historical safety statistics and see a trend that I don’t like – the SUMMER BLUES.   Each year we have experienced our most incidents during the months of July and August.   We still conduct our new hire safety orientation, our weekly safety training, and enforce all of our safety policies and procedures.   Why do we have the SUMMER BLUES?   When you peel back the onion, the type of incident is all over the board – Slip Trip and Fall, Ergonomics, Cuts, etc. – there is no one type of incident that is driving this.   Incidents are occurring at facilities in the North as well as the South, East as well as the West – there is no specific geographic location that is driving this.   Incidents are occurring at facilities that are not working overtime along with facilities that are working overtime.

The only way I can explain this is safety awareness.   We have become distracted with increased volumes, vacations, heat, etc,  that we create a self-induced SUMMER BLUES.   We need to double our efforts to heighten safety awareness.   We need to work safety awareness into everything that we do.   We want each of our employees to think about safety as much as they are thinking about their vacation!

I will ensure that we eliminate SUMMER BLUES and heighten safety awareness – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

I read a news report about the city inspector who committed suicide in Philadelphia.   This individual worked for the Department of Licenses and Inspections for the city.  This individual was responsible for the INSPECTION of the crane that toppled at a construction site killing 6 people and injuring 15 others.   This individual left a video message for his wife and 7 year old son before taking his own life.

Obviously this inspector felt he was responsible for the accident that occurred.   Did he just check off the boxes during the crane INSPECTION?   Did he feel that nothing could go wrong?   He had been doing the same job for 16 years and had not had a fatality.    How many times do we perform a self-INSPECTION at our workplaces and “just go through the motions” or “check off the boxes”?    How many times do we feel that we are safe because nothing has happened for years?

We need to use this as a wake-up call and take INSPECTIONS seriously.    We need to ensure that we don’t “just go through the motions” or “check off the boxes”.   We need to be pro-active in preventing accidents and tragedies.

I’m all in favor of pro-active INSPECTIONS – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

Typically, Safety is measured using incident rates – this is a lagging indicator not a leading indicator.  I am trying to come up with a system to measure safety in a different way.   I want to take into consideration participation, safety perception surveys, self-assessments, and other tools in addition to incident rates.   I feel that this will provide a more accurate look at safety rather than a incident only view of safety.   Here is a draft of the MEASUREMENT system that I am working on:

Safety Score System

Why look at safety this way?   Some facilities are very lucky and have no accidents – therefore we think they are safe.  Some of these facilities do not participate, have poor leadership, have a poor culture and are not committed to safety but their incident rates look favorable.   Some facilities have poor incident rates but have very good participation, very good culture, are committed to safety, and have good leadership but have had incidents.   Which facility is better?    In my opinion, I will take the facility that has incidents but good culture, commitment, leadership, and participation over the facility that is incident free but lacks these characteristics.   I believe that the latter is a time bomb waiting to explode!   We don’t have a system in place to identify the time bomb by looking at incident rates only.

I’m curious to obtain your opinion on a MEASUREMENT system like this – what have I missed?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

I read a safety article this week that discussed accountability.  There was one sentence in the article that said:  “Accountability needs to evolve to focus on safety PERFORMANCE, not safety results”.   That statement made me pause and think.   What is the difference between safety PERFORMANCE and safety results?  Can you have poor safety PERFORMANCE and good results?   How do you focus on PERFORMANCE?

First, I want to start by saying I agree completely with the author of the article and the sentence.   Yes – you can have poor safety PERFORMANCE and good results – it’s called luck.   PERFORMANCE is the culture and actions – it’s the “proactive” view rather than the “reactive view” you get when you focus on results.   Our efforts are better spent preventing accidents (PERFORMANCE) than conducting an accident investigation (results).   As I have mentioned in numerous other posts – safety culture is the most important aspect of any safety program.   There is no switch to flip that changes culture.   It can not be changed overnight.

I am going to continue to focus on safety PERFORMANCE, not safety results – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

I recently came across the following HIERARCHY of safety that makes complete sense to me:

SAFETY PROGRAM

The most effective safety program is when safety becomes a value to the organization.  It’s easy to say that your organization values safety – it’s another to walk the talk and truly have safety as a core value of your organization.    The second level is when one becomes the owner of safety – it creates accountability.   A safety program with engaged employees is more effective than a program with involved employees.  A program with involved employees is more effective than a program with interested employees, etc.

In my experience – many organisations become complacent with their safety efforts.   Avoidance is another failed safety strategy that many companies have tried.   The wait and hope safety effort is a ticking time bomb.   It’s time for companies who operate with these ineffective safety efforts to wake up and climb the ladder.

We will continue to climb the ladder until safety becomes a core value of the organization.   Where is your organization in the HIERARCHY of safety?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434