Archives for April 2018

Planning to fail

Sometimes the planning and set up means there are latent factors that will eventually cause harm.

It’s not usually as obvious as in this video below, but the potential consequence may be serious.

So why not spend a few moments and do a risk assessment at the start and save the downtime fixing fences, team members and working for free while your profit margin goes to paying for this harm.

It’s actually more profitable in the long run to do it this way.


Reposted video from @osha_is_this_ok

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What’s your plan?


Planning matters…
But it also needs to take into account credible events, even if they’re unpleasant / unfortunate. If it’s a beautiful well laid out plan that takes you from now until eternity, you’ve got to allow for variations on your assumptions of course. But also, one variation is the credible risk events you’re likely to encounter.

While often credible emergencies or risks are allowed for but it’s based on your past experience, and is out-of-date, the instant you’ve listed them. The basics are important – updating the plan, and staying in touch with current trends from what others have learnt. But just planning for your organisation to get punched in the mouth (figuratively of course) is one way to be prepared for a whole range of unknowns or even black swans.

It’s not a binary conversation about detailed planning and generalised themes. It’s just about doing what you can do, and acknowledging the weaknesses of what your plan is now, while doing your best to build in resilience through robust and varied planning.



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Fatigue isn’t that cute

Are you making sure that all of your personnel (including yourself) are not overworked or fatigued? Fatigue would have to be linked to a lot more incidents in the workplace than we can currently measure, and we are all aware that people make better decisions when rested.

What is your plan?



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Value or cost?

Maybe the money saved not getting an expert like a competent Geotechnical engineer to assess this one wasn’t actually a saving in the end.

Services or products that help prevent costly clean ups like this one (assuming they didn’t have anyone killed) should be looked at more for the value they add, not the cost. Otherwise it’s just a roll of the dice and the house always wins eventually.

Reposted vid from @toolboxtalk1

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“Stupid questions” are a sign of weakness, but not in the way we often think

So, you think you have a good reporting culture & an open consultative workplace.

One test that will clarify this is, is to look at the reaction to the ubiquitous ‘stupid questions’.

If you have a work environment that belittles someone who asks a so called dumb question, or if they are left to bask in the embarrassment alone & unsupported then you probably don’t have a positive culture that is trying to continuously improve.

The team members who ask these questions are often the innovators & will think outside the box. They’re not weak, but actually quite brave. They’ll be the ones most likely to challenge the status quo & speak up when they see the emperor has no new clothes. When we are talking HSEQ, speaking up can be a matter of life or death! It can mean preventing catastrophic harm to the environment or the organisations bottom line. Failing to see these issues coming because of a culture that prevents those who see it from speaking up when others don’t is just plain bad for business.

So I challenge any workplace to be introspective next time someone is brave enough to ask a question. Look inside to see why they could interpret it that way, & nurture those who speak up about those challenging topics. Look for the related weakness of your systems.

Then you’ll be best positioned to prevent a disaster before getting run over by it. Fix the weakness the “stupid question” is highlighting because it’s a free lesson if you chose to use it.

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Are your subcontractors doing this?

Like this video below, these people are out there and not just overseas far away.

If you have subcontracted work out, how do you know the subbies will perform to your expected standards? Well, in some aspects you don’t. But in the same bucket, that goes for your own staff too.

So then why accept a lower standard for subcontractors than for staff? The way to check is through a workable, simple and effective pre-qualification process that at least goes to reasonable efforts to check they’ve got the skills, knowledge, training, and basic systems in place to work at the level you desire. Formalising this pre-qual process will help you comply with 8.1.4 Procurement from the new ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use

Then it’s all in the follow up. Like team members, if you don’t check, you’ll be missing the opportunities to encourage positive behaviours and performance as well as discourage the less desirable ones.

Click the following link:  Video – Hiab lift almost goes very badly        (reposted from Instagram/health_and_safety)

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Information of mis-information?

Are you focussed on addressing the right risks?

Too often misinformation can redirect valuable finite resources from the right risks to other less critical places due to fear or distraction.

Use a professional to help you determine where your risk management efforts should be spent.

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A leadership lesson in ball tampering

As a leader, your influence can come crumbling down in seconds because of one fleeting moment.

If you’re asking your team to work safely or strive for zero harm or any other lofty HSEQ goal, are you living the same attitude as well? Or are you just working the acting game and playing a character. If you want to influence your team to truly make a difference in any part of the HSEQ realm, then walk the talk and let your actions speak for you.

Or one day, you’ll tread on an appendage and undo so much of your hard work to date.


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