Ensuring work is undertaken by our employees and contractors safely and without injury is management’s responsibility. How do we then maintain practices to ensure this and deliver good safety results?
by Malcolm Deery
Group General Manager HSE, Programmed
If the driving force behind managing safety is from a moral or societal perspective, or purely from avoiding prosecution, then the result often leads to great intent, but poor delivery of consistently good injury prevention.
The reason – these drivers don’t always align with our operational needs. That is, when time-frames are under pressure or budgets are tight then the best intent around safety can so easily be sacrificed.
To take a different approach, change the way you think about safety. This helps make good workplace safety ‘just how we do things here’.
Let’s consider this perspective – workplace safety is a business issue. After we get past the human side of an injury, you’ll see it as no more than an ‘unplanned event’ that has human flesh at the end of the failure. It could have also resulted in damage to equipment, lost product or just an insidious delay at the end of the unplanned event. What business can run well with unplanned events?
So, if we focus on ensuring our people aren’t injured then we have also taken steps to remove unplanned events, therefore we work more efficiently. This also opens up the opportunity for dialogue with our people about work planning and efficiency.
Where do we start? The following questions are a great way to identify these unplanned events.
* “What could go wrong?” and “How could anyone be injured as we do this job?”
* “Where will the next injury occur on this job?”
* The follow up question could be – “What needs to be done to prevent this occurring?”
Acting on this means we have removed the possibility of the identified unplanned event and consequently enhanced the smooth delivery of our process – working safely is good for all businesses.