Archives for May 2018

Logic exists, really

There is often talk of society lacking common sense and logic now compared to previous generations, but I’m not exactly in agreement. Logic still exists, or we wouldn’t be building and buying safer vehicles, we’d not be spending more on cleaning products, medical supplies and health care.

The divide between those with logic and those without is not there now anymore than 50, 100 or 150 years before us. It’s just difference. Do we think our parents and grandparents weren’t saying the same thing about us? Do we think everyone before us was fine and everyone after us is failing? Are are that self centred and egotistical?

With changed lifestyles, upbringings and technology, there will certainly be differences, and this is especially noticeable as the speed of change increases. There are differences and focusing on why others are dumb, lacking in common sense or logic is a cop out. It’s harmful and shields us and those like us from the opportunity to learn and improve.

Yes, there will be some dumb technology glitches just like the image below. But do we think the horse advocates didn’t make jokes about why a horse would never catch fire or get flat tyres? These differences will remain ubiquitous and kidding ourselves that it’s new and not a normal part of society is taking away more value than it adds.

Why not harness the improvement opportunities instead of focusing on the teething issues that are normal when systems evolve. After all, there isn’t much downside in being positive?!

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Miner’s Memorials

Workplace deaths are always tragic for those left behind, whether family, workmates or those emergency responders needing to pick up the pieces.

I’m not a fan of the Zero Harm concept given its linked more to the reduction of reporting than to increase in efforts to fix hazards. But it is still important to try and always learn from what went wrong.

It does amaze me that despite ubiquitous deaths where a seat belt would have saved a life we still need to remind people that failing to wear them rarely has a good reason that outweighs the reduced risk. There is so much evidence that they’re effective.

Please – don’t play Russian Roulette with the pain you’ll inflict on others because of a perceived inconvenience wearing a device that is so effective at saving lives.

Miner’s memorial – on this day

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I should get to that stuff at some stage

I know I need to get around to that Safety stuff one day as it’s gotta be done.

Delaying fixing up some systems of your HSEQ systems or sending people on training can add stress to a busy business, but we all know it needs to be done. But you know what also adds stress? Worksafe or Resources Safety digging through your systems after you’ve had a serious incident or kicking yourself that this delay could be been the factor while one of your team is laid up injured in hospital from something at work.

In David Allen’s book Getting things done, he reminds us that having all of these things in our heads that we know. We need to get to as some stage will add a huge amount of background stress and anxiety u til we can lock them in to an action plan for resolution. It’s not that they all need to get finished to reduce our stress, but that we just need to have them locked in to an action plan that we can rely on is going to make sure we don’t forget.

The biggest barrier he says is often the lack of a clear visible defined Next Action. We know something needs to get done and roughly what it is, but can’t exactly and specifically lock it in to one thing we need to do. This is especially challenging regarding some HSEQ actions for smaller businesses.

HSEQ issues are often founded in seemingly complex systems of legislation that can easily overwhelm a business owner or manager. Also they are often based on more abstract concepts such as providing and maintaining a safe workplace where workers are not exposed to hazards.

By being confused on where to start in finding the information, let alone turning it into a clearly defined and visible physical action only adds to stress and promotes procrastination. That’s where using a trained professional can assist in helping focus you down the right path.

Whether it is just an hour conversation with one of our trained and competent HSEQ advisors and shown where to find the relevant section of legislation or code of practice through to fully operational plug and play solutions, we can help reduce stress and get things moving from when they’ve been stuck.

Drop us a line or give us a call and see if we can help. After all, what will be more stressful? Resolving your issue or tap dancing around it for another year?

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Don’t focus on compliance

The often forgotten thing is the law is the lowest acceptable standard so it fits across all situations. If the focus is on compliance, you’re likely already CTD (circling the drain).

Don’t let your HSEQ focus be on being compliant or you’ll be missing the potential benefits efficient, effective and workable systems can bring to the bottom line.

Mark Goulston – FB post

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We may be doing enough, but are we doing it right?

With 2 workplace deaths in WA in very recent times, what are we doing differently to make sure our workplace is never going to have to experience the horror of having this happen to a member of your team. And don’t play down my use of the word “horror”, by thinking it’s only others who have to experience this. There is only one way to ensure you’ll not have to……

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33 years ago, there 53 people lost their lives after going to watch a their local sports team.

The outcome of that day isn’t one anyone should have to endure. All big fires start small, but it’s likely to be unfathomable to those caught out on that day that a grandstand could be so susceptible to a small fire causing it to engulf in that manner. It isn’t their job to ensure the venue was safe for them to attend. It’s completely reasonable that they would think they’ll be able to just go there and then return home after the game.

So while it’s unfortunate that the event happened, and no one on earth can undo the losses that had been sustained by the individuals and their families, the best way we can honour them is to make sure we have learnt from their pain and loss. We need to make sure we take ownership of what is within our control.

If we stop and clean up waste, litter or rubbish build up in our work area, how much less likely would a fire start?

If we as security workers make sure we follow protocol and search someone properly when we’ve been trained and authorised to do so instead of just “going through the motions” would we reduce the contraband in our workplace?

If we made sure the boxes of chips or drinks for our hamburger stand were not obstructing access for  workers and patrons to get up stairs and corridors would this help others?

I’m not saying these issues were the ones that led to the Bradford event’s outcomes. I’m highlighting that all of us can do a better job to focus on protecting others by think about how our actions may help or hinder those around us.

The difference between helping and hindering is so often absolutely no increase in workload… so lets just help each other.

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Verification of everyones competency

With the explosion of the vocational training system since the rollout of the TAA40104 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and the subsequent ubiquitous RTO on every street corner and up every tree, it’s been kinda hard to trust many of the competencies people have.

The expectation for verifying someone’s qualifications isn’t just around earthmoving gear or limited to a mining environment. While the WA mining legislation has additional prescribed requirements for VOC’s to the WA OSH legislation, we all still have a duty to ensure someone is trained and competent. Technically making sure someone has a ticket or is qualified for the task is a start and may get through an audit that they are ‘trained’. But if they are involved in a serious incident, are they really trained adequately to the specific context of the work environment and many other requirements?

Throwing the whole Vocational system out and ignoring someone has a ticket is a common response, but that also can mean significantly ‘experienced’ workers without tickets may have learnt many bad habits or have missed some of the fundamentals they would have been taught on the nationally accredited sources.

The end goal is a competent workforce made up of team members who can reliably, effectively and safely do their job. Whether a butcher, baker or widget maker, we all just want to run our business without unexpected issues from competency related issues.

Check out the video below for what can happen when one of your team members isn’t competent to operate a vehicle….

Dog runaway car vid


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