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What are you doing differently for safety and is it working?

Posted by Richard Forster on 9 May 2016

What are you doing differently for safety and is it working?

For those of us who are kept professionally busy, amongst other things, monitoring the OHS (or WHS) jungle drums, the messages seem reasonably consistent.

"Safety is broken, let's do safety differently"

By jungle drums, we are referring to the various forums and discussion groups whereby "thought leaders" in health and safety lend their view to the above subject matter then, just about anyone else with a view can join in.

Whether you are merely raising awareness of health and safety in your business; seeking to continue to improve or trying to break through a performance plateau, there is certainly some mileage in looking at safety differently.

A common view is that the level of bureaucracy many organisations generate (and not just in health and safety) fails to inspire ownership and trust leading to little or no improvement. There is simply too much stuff and the important bits can get missed. So consider asking yourself:

  • Do you put your workers at the centre of the solution or view them as the problem;
  • Do your safety metrics focus on the presence of positives or the absence of negatives (as most of the time, it seems, things are done safely);
  • Do you view health and safety as an ethical responsibility or a bureaucratic nightmare; and
  • Are you doing safety differently or has it not evolved as other work areas have (such as IT)?

Considering the "upside" of safety and focus on what we can do rather than what we cannot do a fit note, rather than a sick note with a healthy dose of decluttering thrown into the mix!

The conversation has started so let us finish by asking you, the reader, what are you doing differently for safety and is it working?

Author: Richard Forster
Tags: Richard Forster Peter Attwood Ian Good

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