Day Two – ASSE – The Mentality of Safety

Day two of the ASSE show and I am happy to report it has been incredibly insightful, with the resonating theme of how companies view safety in their organization. Most people spend significant amounts of time thinking through the technology that their QHSE processes require without actually thinking through the processes involved or the people behind those processes. Here are some key takeaways:
“No Harm No Foul” – One of today’s presenters referenced this saying in the context of some organizations feel like if no one is injured or if there wasn’t a fatality as a result of an unsafe practice or condition then they dodged a bullet. At the end of the day, employee’s lives should always matter and scenarios where unnecessary hazards and risks are introduced must be eliminated.
95% of Fatalities happen away from work – While most companies focus on keeping their workers safe on the job, they overlook protecting them at home. Organizations that instill a strong safety culture at work are also indirectly creating a much stronger safety culture at home.
Error Experts – Today’s best athletes and teams can be considered Error Experts. In forcing their opponents into making errors by rushing them, frustrating them, causing them to fatigue, or making them complacent on the court or field, they can be characterized as error experts. Ironically enough, these same tactics are the same attributes that can cause employees to injure themselves or others. By always thinking of how to alleviate the scenarios which lead to frustration, fatigue, and apathy, your employees can be all-stars when it comes to safety.
More money than sense – While attending another seminar, one high ranking employee from a large, global organization discussed deploying their Safety Management System. They talked about how little they had spent in doing do. In hearing this I couldn’t help but think that they grossly underestimated the actual costs associated with such an undertaking. The implementation that they described would have consumed 1000’s of man hours of effort and regardless of whether or not they did it with their own employees and not consultants, the effort and costs would have been significant. While this may be considered a significant win, they failed to recognize that they will be relying on in-house resourcesand unproven technology to maintain and grow their Safety Management System.

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