Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

The 2013 NFL season starts tomorrow.  Many people can’t wait for the season to start (myself included).   Safety is a lot like any of the teams in the NFL – you need practice, gameplans, leadership, teamwork, communication, protection, rules, PPE, etc to be successful.    If you are lacking any of theses items, you will not be successful.   Why aren’t we as excited about safety?

I want everyone as excited about safety as they are about the NFL – what do you think?

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

I had a discussion recently with a colleague regarding the importance of leadership in safety.   Too often leaders want to preach safety but send a conflicting message by violating safety rules themselves.   Leaders need to WALK THE TALK!   When employees see a leader violating a safety rule or regulation, they are basically being told that it is OK to do this.    I read a safety story about 15 years ago that sticks with me relating to the non-verbal messages that leaders send employees.   The story goes something like this:  An employee was standing on the top rung of a ladder and did not have a spotter (two safety violations).  This employee’s supervisor was late for a meeting and walked by the employee on the ladder on their way to the meeting.  The supervisor chose not to stop and correct these items and continued on to the meeting.   A few minutes later there was a panic call over the radio that an employee had fallen from a ladder and was being rushed to the hospital.   The employee was killed that day by head injuries sustained from the fall.    By walking by and choosing to do nothing – the supervisor was “non-verbally” telling the employee that it was OK to be standing on the top rung of the ladder and that it was OK to not have a spotter.    How do you think the supervisor feels knowing that they could have prevented this death by just stopping and correcting the situation?

It is so important that leaders WALK THE TALK.   Employees are constantly looking at leaders for direction and guidance.   Leaders need to completely understand that their non-verbal communication is just as important as their verbal communication.    I am going to reinforce the importance of WALK THE TALK at our next safety leadership meeting – what about you?

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


Posted: May 8, 2013 in Communication, Safety Jouorney
Tags: , ,

By now, I assume that everybody has heard about the upcoming change from our traditional Hazard Communication Standard to the world recognized Global Harmonized System (GHS).  OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard has been revised to align it with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update to the Hazard Communication Standard provides a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.

You might have heard about the change, but have you started doing anything about it?    By December, all employers with hazardous chemicals in the workplace must conduct new training for workers on the new label elements and the new safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.   Chemical labels will now include a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided on the chemical label.    New Safety Data Sheets (SDS), that will replace old Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)  will now have a uniform 16-section format.

If you have not thought about your training plan and your conversion plan – you need to start.   The deadline for GHS is less than 6 months away!

I am going to make sure our conversion plan is set and our materials are ready to go – what about you?

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

We create and produce our own safety training videos in-house.  We have a team that records the audio tracks from a script that has been written and we have various facilities shoot video at their location of the subject matter.   We bring all of this together, add titles, edit, and produce the video.  We presently have approximately 20 videos produced and posted on our safety website.   The intention of these videos is to complement our weekly safety training.   Most of these videos are three to seven minutes long and cover the basics of the topic presented.   My goal is to have 52 training videos (one for each week), which will send a consistent message across the organization.

Up until the past few weeks, we have asked for volunteers to shoot the video footage at their location.  We had approximately 10 different facilities volunteer and have started to have the same facilities volunteer multiple times.  Here is an observation on these videos – the 10 facilities that have volunteered have fewer accidents than the group of facilities that have not volunteered.   Further, the facilities that have volunteered multiple times have fewer accidents than the facilities that volunteered once and the facilities that have not volunteered at all.    Why?   It’s obvious to me – the facilities that have volunteered are the facilities that “get it”.   These are also the facilities where the  facility leader embraces our safety program and ENGAGES THE EMPLOYEES.

In in effort to “jump start” a couple of facilities, I decided to assign the filming for the next two videos rather than ask for volunteers.   I thought this would help the facility leader ENGAGE THE EMPLOYEES and promote safety.   I chose two facilities that are on “safety auto pilot” and asked if they would film at their location.   I explained that they do not need to worry about audio, editing, etc – we just need raw video footage of the subject matter.  I further explained that it was a great opportunity to ENGAGE THE EMPLOYEES at the facility and to have a little fun.   The first facility embraced the opportunity and was excited that they were asked to do this assignment.   The second facility shot me a note back declining the invitation.   The facility leader explained that he “asked around” and “no employees were interested” (red flag……red flag……red flag!!!).    I shot a note back to this facility leader, a little stronger in tone, explaining what a great opportunity this was to ENGAGE THE EMPLOYEES and this project wasn’t voluntary but an assignment.     The facility leader shot me another note back trying to get out of the assignment again (red flag… flag… flag!!!).   I decided to call this facility leader and discuss the opportunity to ENGAGE THE EMPLOYEES and how as a leader, he can use this as an opportunity to directly involve people in our safety program.   The call went about as expected – the facility leader said they would get it done and he couldn’t wait to get off the phone.

We have data that supports when you ENGAGE THE EMPLOYEES, your results are better.   There are thousands of books written on this subject.   I mentioned a Chinese Proverb on a previous post that I will use again here:  “Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I may remember; involve me, and I will understand”!

I will always ENGAGE THE EMPLOYEES – What will you do?

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

Why is it that people don’t follow simple safety rules?   Why is it that we have to wait for an incident to occur before people GET IT?   As leaders, it is our responsibility to provide the safest workplace possible.   It is unacceptable for anybody to get injured, no matter how minor.   How do we get people to care (GET IT = Get people to care)?

We have to create a safety culture where people GET IT – they care, they look out for others as well as themselves, the become proactive and seek potential safety issues before any incidents occur.   We  accomplish this by creating a positive safety culture through leadership, communication and personal accountability.   Leaders need to walk the talk, follow all safety rules, consistently enforce all safety rules, become active in the safety program, and lead by example.   If a leader allows for people to violate safety rules, no matter how minor, he/she might as well hang up a banner at the facility that reads: “Safety is not important here”.   Leaders must also communicate both the positive messages and the negative messages.  When they learn that an employee addressed a safety issue with a co-worker, they need to praise that employee.   When they see an employee violate a safety rule, they need to coach that employee.  If a leader is always discussing safety in a negative light – the safety culture becomes one of compliance only.

I’m going to push for people to GET IT?  Are you?

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