In 2017, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes according to the National Safety Council, with the three biggest causes of fatalities on the road being alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving. And, as an employer, you play a big role in keeping roads safe. Millions of employees drive as part of their jobs. Some are professionally trained drivers, but many are not, and if a job does not primarily involve driving, the employee often does not receive the same driver safety management that professional drivers do.
Each year, thousands are killed while working on the job and even more are injured or have a close call that could result in injury. An appendage to those tragic events is the fact that organizations lose thousands and even millions of dollars due to these safety incidents. OSHA has stated:
If you’re in charge of OHS at your workplace, you’ve probably considered whether the new ISO 45001 standard makes sense for your company. You’ve likely read about it or heard people in the industry discussing it. Or you may be wondering whether your company is ready for the requirements and the process involved. There are several factors which can impact the implementation and eventual success of any ISO standard within an organization, such as its size, nature of operations, current OHS policies, or available resources. However, one factor you will not typically hear about is arguably the most important – the people who make up the organization.
A good way to experience the best safety practices/programs across industries and organizations is to see them first hand. Sitting down with those who lead them provides an honest perspective on the work involved in transforming a site’s safety culture. This blog summarizes years of safety transformation work. Last week we reviewed four considerations required for a journey to an injury-free workplace. Now we will look at the innovative approaches that leading companies are taking to deal with these four factors.
Most companies have reasonable safety programs in place. They do a good job in both their new hire safety onboarding process and reinforcing safety through their ongoing training programs. Many companies make employees sign a document stating they understand what is expected and will comply. Better companies do not stop there and turn their focus on the likelihood that employees will do what they were trained to do. How?
More and more, I hear organizations setting higher safety goals for their workforces, using terms to describe them as Zero Harm or Injury Free. Some go as far as sending leaders offsite for days to safety commitment workshops. There they must articulate their commitment to lofty safety goals, returning as enlightened safety emissaries.
It’s not easy to be Amtrak right now. Talk about a rough stretch…three major accidents in the past two months alone. First, in December 2017, a Cascades train traveling from Seattle to Portland came to an abrupt halt, derailing off a bridge and onto a busy highway. Then, a chartered Amtrak train traveling through Virginia collided with a garbage truck. Most recently, an Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, these are just the most recent incidents…barely three years ago was one of the largest train derailments in history: the Philadelphia Amtrak crash, which killed eight people and left 180 injured. How can we prevent these accidents?
Are you a task list person? Do you write out specific things that you need to get done and diligently work through your list? Maybe even write down a task after completing it just to allow yourself the satisfaction of crossing it off?
Safety professionals are notorious for getting hit with the gotcha questions that, if not answered correctly, make us look stupid. On the surface these questions seem simple to answer, but there’s always a catch. Here’s one I recently heard. Are today’s new mid-size sedans safe to drive? For the sake of this argument, let’s consider the 2018 Toyota Camry. What do you say – is it a safe vehicle? Well, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently gave this car their Top Safety Pick Award. If you're like most astute safety professionals, your answer will sound like this: “Yes, but…it depends on who is driving the Camry!” You quickly recognize that, while the vehicle is reasonably safe, the person behind the wheel ultimately decides how the car is driven.
Bill goes over to his friend Tom’s house to watch the game. When he walks in he notices Tom has a bandage on each of his ears. Puzzled, he asks him what happened.
Bill: How exactly did you manage to hurt both your ears?
Tom: Well, I was ironing my shirt when the phone rang; without thinking I lifted the iron to my ear thinking I was answering the phone.
Bill: Well that explains one bandage, what about the other?
Tom: They called me back!