Archive for the ‘Personal Safety’ Category

How much do you value your LIFE?   Asking me to overlook a simple safety violation would be asking me to compromise my entire attitude toward the value of your LIFE.   I feel my LIFE is priceless – how do you feel about your LIFE?   Do you have the same feeling toward safety that you do toward your LIFE?

The challenge that we face everyday is to get everyone around us (our co-workers, leaders, subordinates, peers, family, friends, relatives) to think about safety differently.   We want everyone to value safety like they value their LIFE!  

I value safety just like I value my LIFE – what about you?

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

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The story of the week was the epic blizzard which hit the Northeast on Friday evening into Saturday morning.   Over the weekend, I had a discussion about one of the sub-stories related to the storm:  a child who was killed by CARBON MONOXIDE poising.    The facts and details related to the story at the time of my discussion were very limited.   The only thing initially reported was that a child was killed in a running car while the father dug out his vehicle and cleared his driveway.

Let’s assume that the father and son were home alone and had somewhere that they absolutely had to be.   Let’s also assume that the child was 3 or 4 years old.    The father could have left the child inside the home unattended while he dug out his vehicle and cleared his driveway.   The father could have placed the child inside the vehicle and left it running for warmth while he dug out his vehicle and cleared his driveway.   The third option was to place the child inside the sub-freezing car (without it running) while he dug out his vehicle and cleared his driveway.   Obviously hindsight is 20/20 and the proper decision was NOT to place the child in the car while it was running.   I would be willing to bet that a majority of people would have done exactly what this father did and placed the child in the car and left it running so the child would stay warm.   Little did he know that the car would fill with the deadly CARBON MONOXIDE and kill the child.   Not only does the father has to live with his son being killed, he has to live with being responsible for the death of his son – something that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

CARBON MONOXIDE is also known as the silent killer.   Wikipedia describes it as a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air.   Only a little concentration can affect the human body.   Here is a table of  CARBON MONOXIDE concentrations and the related symptoms:

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Here is a link to a toolkit that can be used to heighten awareness about CARBON MONOXIDE poisoning.   Please make sure that you, your family, your employees, their families and others, are well educated about the silent killer –  CARBON MONOXIDE.   I will share the story about the father and son to discuss the dangers of  CARBON MONOXIDE – what will you do ?

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

I had a conversation this week with a Workers Compensation Insurance Representative and an Insurance Broker regarding safety and accidents.   Both of these individuals have 25+ years of experience in occupational safety – therefore I consider them EXPERTS.   It was interesting to hear their perspective on accidents, culture, and various safety programs.   The one thing that was loud and clear from my conversation with the EXPERTS – you must involve your employees.

When you involve employees in your safety program you create ownership, buy-in and participation.    These items lead to a positive safety culture where employees do the right thing even when nobody is watching and employees look out for one another.   Isn’t that what we are trying to achieve?   All it takes is involvement – just ask the EXPERTS.

I will continue to involve all employees in safety – what will you do ?

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

I recently had a discussion with another safety individual over safety perceptions.   This individual cited an article which discussed the five most dangerous safety perceptions that an organization can have.  Here are these perceptions:

  • Zero accidents – It’s not possible
  • Safety excellence is “Not getting hurt”
  • Safety is not my job
  • It wont happen to me
  • We are already good

I am of the opinion that you must find the root cause of these perceptions in order to solve the perception problem.   In my opinion, these perceptions are caused by a lack of leadership, a lack of a proper safety culture, and a lack of a systematic approach to safety.

Every organization must have a ROBUST SAFETY PROGRAM in order to succeed.   A ROBUST SAFETY PROGRAM is not a well-written thick binder that sits on the shelf collecting dust.   It’s not a series of super technical documents that nobody can understand.   A ROBUST SAFETY PROGRAM is a fully supported system that incorporates rules, regulations and guidelines with training/education and creates a participatory ownership environment.   When you have this – you have created a ROBUST SAFETY PROGRAM.  This program has proper leadership, culture and a systematic approach to safety.

When you achieve the ROBUST SAFETY PROGRAM – employees will believe that zero accidents is possible.   They will believe that we can always improve and get better.  They will embrace safety and understand that safety is everybody’s job.  In a ROBUST SAFETY PROGRAM every employee knows that they are vulnerable and anybody can get hurt, they know that safety excellence is way beyond not getting hurt – it is creating a culture that eliminates hazards and employees are looking out for one another.

I will continue to create a ROBUST SAFETY PROGRAM that will eliminate the dangerous safety perceptions – what will you do ?

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

What is it that you FEAR?   I came across the following graphic that shows what people FEAR and what people should FEAR:

What Should You be Afraid of

As a society we FEAR murder when twice as many people die of suicide.  We FEAR children being abducted when twice as many drown in pools each year.   There are four times as many identity thefts as burglaries each year.   Why do we FEAR certain things?   Is it the media?  Is it that we FEAR the controllable vs the uncontrollable?   Everybody is different and forms opinions based upon their learning, experience, and beliefs.

As it relates to safety – how do we get people to FEAR being injured or killed and follow proper procedures?   How do we get people to look out for each other?   How do we change the mindset that “it will never happen to me?”  We do this the same way that people are no longer afraid of shark attacks – by learning, experience, and beliefs.

FEAR is not always a bad thing – I want every employee to FEAR being injured or killed.   I will train and educate to help instill this FEAR.  What about you?

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

I have two rants today:  One regarding the amount of time it takes to compile and issue injury data and one regarding the quantity of work-related deaths that occur in our country each year.

Rant #1:  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued the Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary for 2011 at the end of September.  They are still compiling the accident data for 2011 and plan on issuing the information at the end of October.  Is having data issued 10 months after the fact really meaningful?  Is it the BLS or BS?  The BLS system is broke.  Sending paper surveys to employers and having them mailed back is not an efficient way to collect data.

Rant #2:  The fatality data showed 4,609 work related deaths in 2011 down slightly from 4,690 in 2010!   That’s 4,609 unnecessary deaths.  The average worker in America works 200 days per year.   Therefore, 4,609 deaths translate to 23 deaths per day!   We have an obligation to provide a safe workplace.  It is unacceptable for any employee to be injured on the job, no matter how minor.

I will reach out to lawmakers in the next 30 days to and write a letter regarding the BLS or BS system – 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