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safety culture

  • Watching Out for Each Other is a Daily Routine

    It’s still cold in Wisconsin, and forecasters are predicting another wave of arctic air for today and the rest of the weekend with high winds. So, as a safety advocate I checked out my PPE. I stepped out into the morning air. It was 4 degrees and the wind is coming out of the northwest. It takes me about 30 minutes to walk to work. The forecasters were right; maybe I should have worked "On Line” This morning

    As I’m walking my mind does wander a bit, and I’m thinking about a blog topic. I live in a small village in northeastern WI, where everybody knows everybody. As I turned the corner and headed into the west wind I could hear the snowplow. Looking up, I could see a “Hi-Vis arm reach out of the window and wave hello and honk the horn. I continued my crossing guardjourney. It’s about this time that the early morning church goers are heading for home, and the school bus driver is making her rounds. We wave every day, acknowledging the routine like a daily safety meeting. I do join the Church goers on Wednesdays just to keep my head screwed on straight. It’s like meeting with management. I’m almost there, and a car pulls up to see if I need a ride. I have to admit I was pretty tempted, but if I wanted a doughnut at the bakery I needed to finish the walk. The last person I see and exchange Hi’s before I get to the office is the lady crossing guard. She’s been on that corner for as long as I can remember; helping others cross the busy main street on their way to school. We’re both praying for spring to get here soon.

    It was then that I realized that looking out for each other is a part of what we do. This includes safety, and acknowledging others as we pass through our day at work, whether its manufacturing, the office, teaching, public agencies, or in the hospitality industry, it is a very important part of developing the safety culture that we keep referring to. Behavioral safety starts with you, the minute you roll back your eyelids when the alarm clock goes off. This type of human partnership reduces stress in the workplace, at home, and yes on vacation. Ok I’m here now my glasses are fogged up and I’m thinking about finding tickets to someplace warm. Maybe I’ll get a doughnut and a cup of coffee first.

  • Why Behavior Based Safety Training

    It would seem that today people in general react differently to stimulus than in the past. The Late Vince Lombardi former coach of the Green Bay Packers could dictate to his players and make it stick by using an unyielding, no nonsense, non-negotiable set of rules. Moms, and Dads could say “ Because I said so” or “You wait till your Father comes home” , to instill fear and keep junior in line. Ruling with an iron fist is no longer the idea du jour. It is being replaced by a set of more “human” rules or objectives. People today want to be treated as individuals, and rewarded for a job well done, as part of a team. Thus we have “Behavior Based Safety”, and the need for Behavior Based Safety Training.

    Behavior based safety is more of an attitude, and creates the proverbial “Win-Win” scenario. It’s a system that promotes a safety culture and rewards and regulates safety. It’s an overall approach to managing safety. It’s an attitude rather than a set of rules. A safety culture is achieved and maintained when it’s begun, encouraged, and practiced by management. When this occurs, safety becomes a part of doing business, and puts everybody on the same plane. Behavior based safety is proactive and involves everybody from the top down. It is not reactive, and has an ongoing purpose in developing good safety practices. A reactive program is cyclical. It’s active because there has been an issue. It’s a rush to stop the bleeding so to speak. Once the bleeding has stopped, so has the ongoing training, until the next rider falls off of the bull. Behavior Based Safety Training has proven to reduce overall costs, and accidents, without the dilemma of cyclical drama. Empowering your employees to be a part of your overall safety program, reporting unsafe conditions, equipment or ppe without fear of retribution, is a positive, and encourages the type of recurring behavior we are trying to promote and foster. A good safety plan is measured, and validated by how effectively accident rates are reduced or controlled

    Behavior Based Safety is watching out for each other not because it’s the law but it’s because watching out for each other is the right thing to do. It’s contagious and improves employee morale. If your employees are happy they are more productive. That improves your bottom line. This type of attitude will also carry over into your behavior away from work as well improving your quality of life, and those around you whether you love them or hate them. Start by getting a plan together http://www.safetyinstruction.com/behavioral_based_safety_program.htm Get your supervisors involved, and trained http://www.safetyinstruction.com/online-safety-training/behavior-based.htm A Plan for “Behavior Based Safety Training” is good for everybody.

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