Getting Buy In for Safety

 By Bob Lapidus, CSP (Retired), CSMS

You have just been hired to create and implement a comprehensive safety program for an organization.  What do you do?

 

1. Take it easy; don’t be in a rush.
2. Find out management’s expectations of you and your function.  Such knowledge should actually be obtained prior to accepting the position.
3. Identify the style of management of the various managers and the organization.  All safety efforts need to fit the individual styles.
4. Meet all the people.
5. Listen.
6. Seek to learn names, titles and what people actually do.
7. Get to know all the functions of the organization and what each function does.
8. Listen.
9. Analyze the kinds of losses the organization has sustained.
10. Discover the organization’s risks and loss exposures.
11. Find out what safety programs and activities the organization has in place and how effective they have been.
12. Listen.
13. Prior to initiating new efforts, get input from people who will be affected.  Involve them in the process so they will buy into the new activities.
14. Have folks evaluate the effort so you can make positive changes to attain improved performance.
15. Listen again and again . . .

 

Yes, listening is listed four times in the above list.  There is, of course, a reason for that.  Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences.  Knowing expectations, from where people are coming, and understanding the nuances of what is going on in the organization is critical to your success.  Most new employees, from the top of the organization to the bottom, come in with their own agendas thinking they will perform as they want to perform without comprehending what is wanted by management and how employees feel about the organization and how it works.  Both big and little issues comprise safety success.  It’s not just the safety effort.  It’s how we communicate with the people in the organization.

 

*     *     *     *     *

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

 

Three-Tier Level of Safety Management Programming

 By Bob Lapidus, CSP (Retired), CSMS

 

The Three-Tier Level of Safety Management Programming provides you with a means of establishing where your organization fits in a hierarchy of safety management success.  It provides you with the current status of your safety efforts and gives you actions or activities you can take to improve what you are doing.

 

SAFETY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM LEVEL DEFINITIONS & ACTIVITIES
PROGRAM LEVEL:  GET BY
DEFINITION
Organizations at this level are not doing anything regarding safety or are only attempting to comply with federal, state and local government regulations.
ACTIVITIES AT THIS LEVEL
1. Management has purchased insurance for workers’ compensation or is self-insured.
2. Management reports occupational injuries and illnesses to workers’ compensation claims administrators.
3.

Management seeks to comply with at least the minimum required federal, state and local safety regulations and standards.

 

PROGRAM LEVEL:  FOUNDATIONAL
DEFINITION
These organizations have passed the Get By level, and are now working diligently to comply with federal, state and local government regulations and to create safety management programs that fit the fundamental structures of a safety program.
ACTIVITIES AT THIS LEVEL
1. Management knows the workers’ compensation loss impact on the financial bottom line.
2. There are active loss prevention activities (versus just paper programs).
3. There is a willingness to spend monies on safety; there is a budget for safety.
4. There is a designated accountable safety person (full- or part-time).
5. There is adequate two-way communication (dialogue) between employees and management on the subject of safety.
6. There are enough people to do the work safely.
7. Employees are given authority to take action to prevent mishaps.
8. Satisfactory safety policies, procedures, and rules are developed.
9. Employees are sufficiently trained in safety policies, procedures, and rules, and what they need to know to prevent accidents.
10. Follow-up or refresher safety training is provided on safety policies, procedures, and rules.
11. Employees have the knowledge, skills and/or judgment for each of the tasks they perform.
12. Employees know how to recognize safety problems.
13. Employees follow the established safety policies, procedures, and rules.
14. Safety policies, procedures and rules are enforced by managers and supervisors.
15. There are adequate facilities, equipment, tools and materials to do the job in a safe manner.
16. There is proper repair and maintenance of facilities and equipment to prevent safety problems.
17. Housekeeping is acceptable.
18. Employees regularly use provided facilities, equipment, and materials to prevent sustaining accidents.
19. Safety problems are regularly identified by all levels in the organization through the process of inspections, investigations and continuous monitoring.
20. Identified safety problems are properly analyzed in a timely manner.
21. Identified safety problems are promptly corrected.
22. Management seeks to comply with required federal, state and local safety regulations and standards.
23. There is aggressive workers= compensation claims management.
24.

All safety activities are properly documented.

 

PROGRAM LEVEL:  MANAGED
DEFINITION
Such organizations epitomize well-managed enterprises.  They have gone beyond the Get By and Foundational levels to achieve strong safety management structures.  Safety is integral to how the establishment is managed.
ACTIVITIES AT THIS LEVEL
1. Effective leadership is demonstrated by example and attitude on the part of managers and supervisors.  In safety, this demonstration means that managers and supervisors comply with the required safety procedures.
2. Management works diligently to avoid making incorrect decisions (errors or omissions) to prevent accidents.
3. Management knows how to deal with safety-related problems.
4. Management avoids risk to enhance employee safety.
5. Management regularly analyzes tasks to ascertain if there are any unsafe practices, conditions or systems in place that could cause an accident.  Such analysis is done using Job Safety Analysis or other such evaluation systems.
6. Management establishes achievable safety goals to include the elimination or reduction of occupational injuries and illnesses, the mitigation of loss exposures, and the establishment of what are unacceptable risks that must not be taken by employees.
7. Managers, supervisors and employees are involved in the creation, implementation, and maintenance of the organization=s safety programs.
8. Management evaluates the effectiveness of the organization’s various safety activities and takes action, as necessary, to improve or change them.
9. The organization=s safety goals are regularly communicated to all employees.
10. Management creates safety expectations to prevent the compromise of safety.
11. Management’s safety expectations are regularly communicated to all employees.
12. Employees know management’s safety expectations.
13. Employees follow the established safety expectations.
14. Management enforces its safety expectations.
15. Managers and supervisors understand employees’ safety needs, concerns, and problems.
16. Managers and supervisors take action on an ongoing basis to deal with employees’ safety needs, concerns, problems.
17. Management maintains a high regard for safety and encourages employees to avoid rushing to get the job done for the purpose of preventing accidents.
18. Employee safety performance is evaluated at least annually.
19. Managers’ and supervisors’ safety performance are evaluated at least annually.
20. Managers and supervisors are regularly held accountable for what they do or not do to prevent mishaps.  Accountability means that positive recognition is given for taking appropriate action and correction is given for not taking appropriate action.
21. Managers and supervisors are regularly held accountable for their loss results.  Accountability means that positive recognition is given for not having losses and correction is given for having losses.
22. Employees are regularly held accountable for working in a safe manner.  Accountability means that positive recognition is given for working in a safe manner and correction is given for not working in a safe manner.
23. Employees are regularly held accountable for maintaining work place order.  Accountability means that positive recognition is given for maintaining work place order and correction is given for not maintaining such order.
24. Management encourages employees to take the time to make correct decisions to avoid errors or omissions that could lead to accidents.
25. Management properly assigns employees who have limited capacities to reduce potential injuries.
26. Management promotes physical fitness so employees maintain themselves in good physical shape to be able to work in a safe manner.
27. Management encourages employees to avoid getting distracted from the tasks they perform so as to maintain their concentration and avoid accidents.
28. Employees are encouraged by their peer groups to work safely.
29. There is bilingual management/supervision, where appropriate.  If not needed, your answer is Yes or Not Applicable (N/A).
30. As necessary, there is a management representative on premises whenever employees are working.  If not an issue, your answer is Yes or Not Applicable (N/A).


SUMMARY

 

GET BY LEVEL

An organization that is only at the Get By level is truly not doing much.  Even 100% at this level is minimal and at most is simply being reactive because the organization is required to do so.  If your organization is doing all three items, that is good, but the next question is:   What else are you doing?

 

FOUNDATIONAL LEVEL

Organizations at the Foundational level are creating comprehensive safety programs.  The more you are doing, the more successful your safety effort is going to be.

 

MANAGED LEVEL

It is difficult to be at this level without also having initiated many of the other activities noted in the Get By and Foundational levels.  Organizations that are high on the Managed level are well-managed establishments.  They are proactive and they integrate safety into their mission.  They are successful in safety because they are usually successful in almost everything else they do.  Safety, quality, efficiency and productivity are second nature to these organizations.

 

Action to Be Taken

  1. Identify where your organization stands within each of the three-tier levels of safety programming.
  2. Praise yourself and your organization for your successes. Take action to improve upon your current efforts.

 

 

*     *     *     *     *

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

 

The Art of Shaking Hands for the Safety Specialist

by Bob Lapidus, CSP(Retired), CSMS

You may think an article on handshaking is a bit corny and irrelevant to real life as a safety specialist, but that is not so.  The art of a good handshake is critical in the world we live in.

The handshake is the last personal touch in the workplace.  We used to be able to pat someone on the back or give someone a West Texas hug where we would come up to someone on their side and put our arm around their other shoulder.  We were letting them know we cared for them without being intrusive.  Even those simple touches are now gone.  What remains is the handshake.

We shake hands with someone else as a greeting, while parting ways, due to friendship, as congratulations, in agreement or simply to show we care.

There may be times when shaking hands might be inappropriate, but normally shaking hands is fitting.  Yes, there are certain cultures where handshaking is not done or only done by members of the same gender, but here in the United States, when it comes to business, we mainly shake hands with everyone.

Here are some questions and answers relating to the techniques involved in a good handshake:

 

1. Question:  How firm is just right?
Answer:  Match the other person’s firmness, being careful as you do so.  Some people have overly firm handshakes.  You will never be able to match it and would not want to try since you might sustain a hand sprain (the author actually did).  There are also people with very weak or limp handshakes.  Your grip has to gently match their grip which might be almost nothing.
2. Question:  How long is just right?
Answer:  About two to three seconds.  Shorter is almost a drop of the hand.  Longer and you start wondering where this relationship is going.  Yes, there are times when a longer handshake is appropriate such as with a good friend or a condolence, but normally two to three seconds should do it.  Try it with a friend.  Shake hands and at the same time count one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three.  What do you think?  Too short?  Too long?  Just right?
3. Question:  Do you have to shake the other person’s hand and arm up and down?
Answer:  The answer is No.  Simply put your hand in their hand (web to web) and either hold or gently go up an inch and down an inch (a gentle shake).  Exaggerated arm pumping is inappropriate.
4. Question:  When do you shake with one hand?  When do you shake with two hands?
Answer:  One hand is the usual means of shaking hands, especially in business.  Two hands may be used when shaking hands with someone you know well, a good friend or family member.  Two hands are also often used when giving a condolence.  Two hands in business is like a too long handshake.  You might start wondering what the other person has in mind.
5. Question:  Is eye contact important?
Answer:  Absolutely!  Shake hands and maintain eye contact.
6. Question:  How to handle sweaty hands?
Answer:  Always carry a handkerchief or paper towel with you.  If you know you are going to have to shake someone’s hands, wipe your right hand on it to get rid of the extra moisture.
7. Question:  How many times do you shake hands as you go your separate ways?
Answers:  This one is kind of funny.  There is no right or wrong answer.  It’s just what life tends to be.  If you have had a good conversation with someone, you often will first shake hands at the end of the discussion.  Then as you say your final good byes, you shake a second time.  And if you continue to talk just a little bit more, you might have a third handshake as you finally turn to go.  Check that one out too.

 

The last touch in business is the handshake.  You need to do it right.

The art of good handshaking should be taught to everyone at the earliest possible age.  Even a four-year old can learn how to give a firm, two to three second handshake.  It will give the child self-confidence.

People in the workplace need to have a good handshake.  If they don’t, teach them.  It’s never too late.

 

*     *     *     *     *

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

Our Sesnses As Used In Safety

Edited by Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

You have been invited to do a facility safety inspection.

  1. You enter and immediately pick up the scent of a chemical. Your sense of smell has kicked in and you need to discover what the scent is telling you.  Is it toxic or harmful in any way?  You commence inquiring to ensure the organization knows whether they have a problem or not.  You note the issue in your inspection comments.
  1. You enter a large space and the noise is deafening. Your sense of hearing is alive and well.  You are given a pair of ear plugs to wear to protect your hearing.  You will inquire as to the status of a hearing conservation program.
  1. Coming around the bend, you rub against a hot metal surface that was not signed to let you know that it was hot. Your sense of touch kept you from being burned.  You write down the hazard and slip in a suggestion for corrective action.
  1. In another room, you pick up what seems like an odor, but you can actually feel it on your tongue. Your sense of taste offers you a new perspective as to something else in the air.  You note this sensation and seek to find out more about what you are detecting.
  1. All the while you have been doing your inspection, you have been seeing both a well-maintained facility and safety problems. Your sense of sight has been the cause of these observations.
  1. Your primary five senses have helped you in your pursuit of identifying safety problems in the workplace, but don’t forget your sixth sense: There have been proposed many different possible sixth senses, but I suggest that our intuition may indeed be a strong one that we should not ignore.  When we see, taste, smell, touch, or hear, we are incorporating a variety of information into our knowledge base.  Sometimes there are things in the environment that we cannot sense by our usual five senses, but we feel there is something else going on.  Our intuition is that sense.  It gives us something that we know or consider likely from an instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.  We need to pay attention to those thoughts that come to us to help us determine what is happening.

In safety, we truly need to use our senses to identify potential problems in our environment, and we need to compile all this information so we may make the optimum recommendations to mitigate these concerns and ensure safe and healthy facilities.

 

*     *     *     *     *

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

Time Challenged

Edited by Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

Note:  Time Challenged is an OurBizniss film distributed by Media Partners.  Information is available at http://www.mediapartners.com/management/timechallenged.htm.  Permission has been granted by Media Partners for Bob Lapidus to use information from Time Challenged in this article.

 

All of us would love to get more accomplished in our daily lives, especially those of us in safety who are trying to prevent losses, comply with government regulations, and implement new programs and activities.  Yet it seems that our lives just fly by causing us not to finish what we try to do.  Here are some tips on how to make our lives more time efficient:

  1. Times does not discriminate against any of us. Use time to its best advantage.  There are always 24 hours in each day.  Everyone has the same number of hours in which to get all of life done.
  2. Schedule visitors and distractions – Ask friends and colleagues to call prior to coming over. Schedule visits around when you need to get your projects completed.  We discussed this subject in a previous article.
  3. Freedom from chaos is a liberating feeling. Organize your project areas and seek to have more control over your project areas.  Put everything into manila files so you know exactly where everything is.  File EVERYTHING in alphabetical order (from A to Z).  Avoid piles AT ALL COSTS and avoid spreading things out.  THROW unneeded documents AWAY.  Keep your project area (wherever it may be) clean, neat, and organized.  Be careful about having personal knick-knacks where you are working on projects.  They literally get in your way. Always put tools and equipment back where they belong.  In this way, you will find them each time you need them.
  4. Manage the phone rather than letting it manage you. Phones can be intrusive.  When you are extremely busy working on a project that should not be interrupted, have calls go directly into your voicemail.  Call back later at a set time.
  5. Handling the same document more than once is a major time waster. Either immediately file away correspondence OR throw it out (recycle).  Don’t put the document down.  They tend to stick to the desk, table, chair, or anything else they are put on.
  6. Always allow time for the unexpected.  Never underestimate the time required to get a project done.  Better to give yourself more time than not enough.  Goal:  Be on time with the work.  PLAN YOUR WORK FOR THE FOLLOWING DAY ON THE PREVIOUS DAY.  Keep a diary and/or a to-do list so you can focus yourself for the day, the week, and your project as a whole.
  7. Prioritizing is the key to time management. Oftentimes we spend our time on the urgent things, not the important things.  Most folks go through their day just going from one task to another without any direction in mind.  Concentrate on achieving results and not just being busy.  Establish SPECIFIC AND REALISTIC GOALS to stay focused on what needs to be done.  Goals will tell you what to concentrate on versus what is merely a distraction from achieving success.  Don’t wait to be motivated, just get started.  DON’T PROCRASTINATE REGARDING DIFFICULT JOBS.  Break the difficult job into smaller jobs (chunks).  If you draw a blank on what to do, SEEK A SECOND OPINION.
  8. Take care of yourself – Maintain a healthy diet, exercise, get plenty of rest, and take breaks when possible. If we don’t take care of ourselves, there is a tendency to make more mistakes and therefore lose precious time trying to get our projects completed.  Schedule regular breaks – They say we tend to work in 90-MINUTE INTERVALS.  At the end of 90 minutes, we need to take a break from what we are doing.  It might be a rest break or it might be a change of task that is being done.  DON’T SKIP MEALS – Eat – Food is our fuel and we need it to be healthy.  EXERCISE – Be sure to do heart and lung exercise to maintain your health.  SLEEP – Get sufficient sleep so you do not make fatigue mistakes.  WATCH YOUR BIORHYTHMS – If at all possible, work to your energy levels, that is, put in the most work at the time of day when you have the most energy (our most productive hours).  Some folks are morning persons, others are afternoon, and others are evening.  If at all possible, try to do your most intense projects during your personal high energy biorhythm times of day.
  9. Don’t Forget the Details. In most things in life, the DETAILS MATTER.  Always check the details to make sure you are doing what needs to be done.  Don’t guess that something is the correct way of doing it.  Find out.  Ask questions, sweat the details.

 

*     *     *     *     *

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

Our Legacies

Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

Everyone who chooses to be in the field of safety has chosen to be a life protector.  We are the people who seek to prevent accidental loss, who want the best for everyone, who see all people as special, to be upheld to live a productive life, free from harm.

Our personal life’s legacies should be etched with the precious words of life-giving preeminence.  Our written policies, procedures, and programs plus our training efforts, speeches and one-on-one dialogues should lift up and proclaim the essence of life.

We know what causes accidents and injuries.  There is no reason to re-create the wheel.  The safety management profession has been around for decades.  We have codes, standards, regulations, rules, and a plethora of procedures on how to do each task in a safe manner.  There are new pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and new operational equipment with safety devices built into them being invented all the time.

Yet we read accounts of the same kind of accidents happening over and over again.  Our safety publications list deaths from the same causes we have known about seemingly forever.

We sometimes dismiss the foundational reasons why people choose not to follow established safety procedures, not to wear the correct PPE, not to stay focused on the task at hand.

What will be your legacy?  Will you harness the power of proactive safety efforts to get people to do what needs to be done in a safe manner?  Will you coordinate your efforts with everyone with whom you come into contact to mitigate risks for the purpose of achieving an accident-free environment?  May it be so . . .

 

*     *     *     *     *

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

Concentration

Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

 

Almost everything we do requires concentration and it is not always easy to achieve.

Think about it. How often do you drive down the highway and get lost in your thoughts, not focusing on actual driving?

Have you ever used a hammer, let your mind wander, and hit your finger?

Watch a six-year old standing out in left field waiting for a ball to be hit.  Ever see the little one’s head look up at a bird or a plane or look at the crowd?  At that second the batter strikes the ball and the ball comes right at the child who hasn’t any idea of what is happening.

Focus, attention, concentration:  A most difficult thing to accomplish.

Yet, in the field of safety, distraction and complacency are two of the most common causes for injuries.  We fail to pay complete attention to what we are doing and in a split second, we make an error that causes injury or damage.

Concentration requires the following actions to be taken on the part of the human being:

  1. Try to avoid distractions – focusing your eyes on the task keeps you more attentive. Some people wear blinders to maintain eye contact on the work.  Of course, that won’t work while driving since you have to keep your eyes moving at all times.
  2. Take care of yourself – Drink water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. Eat three good meals every day to maintain your nutrition and snack on healthy foods during the day to keep up your metabolism.
  3. Work on your task.    Walk around.  Get back to it.  It’s not healthy to stay in one position for a long time.  Some work is more adaptive to taking such breaks.
  4. Do that work that requires the most concentration when you are most energized during the day. That’s different for each of us.
  5. To maintain your concentration, avoid anything that will disrupt you. If possible, turn off cell phones and the related text messages and emails.  Check those things at regular intervals throughout the day, but not every second of every day.  Just because a text or email comes in or even a phone call, doesn’t mean you have to answer it right then.  On the other hand, some jobs allow you to control your time while other jobs or even bosses expect you to respond to every interruption.  If the latter is the case, you will find it very difficult to concentrate and protect yourself and others from injury.
  6. If you have a variety of tasks to perform, see if you can do a job that requires high concentration for a while and then switch to a job that doesn’t require such a high level of attention. That change of pace helps when you have to pay high attention to a specific task.

 

If you have something to do that requires a full-day of attention, drink that water, eat that meal, snack, take breaks that will allow you to break the concentration, that includes driving breaks and then get back to the task with renewed energy.

 

 

*     *     *     *     *

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

How to be a Credible Advisor

Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

Are you a credible advisor?  Do people at work come to you for help in solving problems?  Do your children readily turn to you for assistance?  Does your spouse feel comfortable asking you for advice?  Do your friends see you as a good source for information and support?

A person who is credible is believable, trustworthy, a giver rather than a taker, dependable, reliable, sincere, a helper.

 

How do you think you would evaluate yourself on the following attributes of being a credible advisor?

 

 

Place a Check in the Appropriate Column

 

 

Attributes of Being a Credible Advisor

 

 

Excellent

 

Above

Satisfactory

 

 

Satisfactory

 

Below

Satisfactory

 

 

Poor

 

1.  Creating trusting relationships.

 

2.  Recognizing success in others.

 

3.  Inquiring as to expectations.

 

4.  Getting input prior to advising or acting.

 

5.  Customizing your advice.

 

6.  Providing reasons for your advice.

 

7.  Keeping others’ priorities in mind.

 

8.  Providing alternative suggestions.

 

9.  Being a helper, not an enforcer.

 

10.   Staying out of the spotlight.

 

11.   Avoiding saying I told you so.

 

12.   Being proud to be part of the group.

 

13.   Being on time.

 

14.   Responding to all requests for help.

 

15.   Being an active listener.

 

16.   Being positive in your communications.

 

17.   Seeking to anticipate potential problems.

 

18.   Being honorable.

 

19.   Enhancing your knowledge and skills.

 

20.   Seeking to be proactive.

 

21.   Generating excitement in your life.

 

How did you do?  Are you a credible advisor?  Do you have some attributes that need to be improved upon or enhanced?  Would you be willing to ask people in your life to give you advice on the above 21 characteristics so you can improve your relationships?  The advice would have to be specific so you would know exactly what you need to change.

Over the past twenty years, I have taught over 600 safety training classes and I was evaluated on every one of those classes.  Yes, I loved getting good ratings, but I also appreciated receiving advice on how to improve what I was doing and how I was advising the attendees.  I changed almost every class I taught each time I taught it based upon input from my evaluations.  Continuous improvement was the goal.

I did not satisfy every student.  My teaching style and even the course material did not fit everyone who took the courses.  But by and large, via continuous improvement, I became a better teacher and advisor and the classes got better because of the evaluations.  That’s good.

 

*     *     *     *     *

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

Safe Driving Monitoring Devices

Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

 

Safety management isn’t just for preventing occupational injuries and illnesses.  It’s also for preventing all kinds of losses that pose a threat to our organizations.  One such threat is losses from our vehicle fleets.

When your employees are driving your organizational vehicles, do you know how they are driving?

 

This past year, I was involved in seeking a way to enhance the safety of a three-vehicle bus/van passenger fleet including learning how our drivers are operating our vehicles.

Our group of volunteers in a non-profit organization came across a device that records information about each vehicle’s operation.  The system records ignition on and off, drive time, speed, stops, distance traveled, and other data such as location.  We know these records represent knowledge that we can use to improve the management of our fleet and drivers.

A month ago, one of the vehicles in our fleet was involved in a horrific collision where the operator of a pickup truck lost control of his vehicle, crossed over four lanes of traffic and struck our vehicle in the left front corner.  The highway speed limit in that area was 75 mph.  Using our in-vehicle monitoring system, we know our driver was driving at 62 mph, a good 13 mph below the speed limit.

In attempting to help out at the accident scene, four of our people drove to the site.  The lead driver, a volunteer, drove his own vehicle, while an employee drove one of our other vehicles.  The volunteer thought they had to get to the scene quickly and drove above the speed limit.  The driver in our organizational vehicle thought he had to keep up.  Our in-vehicle recording monitor recorded his speed at 81 mph in an older Ford Econoline Passenger Van, a vehicle not designed for such speeds.

With that knowledge, the employee was reprimanded.  We are glad to have this device in our vehicles.  In our case, it is a Fleetmatics monitoring system.  Other companies make similar devices.

What’s interesting is that airbags in modern vehicles have black boxes.  According to information from a St. Louis law firm:

The term black box generally refers to an electronic device that monitors and stores information about vehicle operation, including the operation before, during, and after a collision. The black box resides in the vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which controls the air bags. Black boxes are formally referred to as crash data recorders (CDRs) or event data recorders (EDRs).

Most vehicles are now equipped with EDRs, which record and provide a variety of information. The specific information recorded depends upon the vehicle manufacturer, but often includes information concerning speed, brake use, seat belt use, and the time of air bag deployment. In addition to being used in cars and trucks, EDR usage in planes and trains has been longstanding.

Several manufacturers now use these black boxes voluntarily. Generally, if a vehicle is equipped with an air bag, important crash information likely is recorded.

Black boxes do not provide written information as to exactly what was occurring at the time of an accident.  Instead, their information is stored in binary code (as sequences of zeroes and ones).  As a result, it’s important that a technician be hired in order to understand the black box data.  Experienced technicians can also be valuable for providing information concerning the validity of black box data, as often events can occur or other matters that may exist that affect the accuracy of the data.  This experience is crucial when defendants try to exclude black box evidence at trial.

We didn’t have to worry about checking the black box in the airbag system and trying to decipher the information.  Our vehicle monitoring system immediately gave it to us in black and white.

 

Another vehicle monitoring device is an in-vehicle video camera that records what happens in front of a vehicle and also onboard.

I regularly fly into Sacramento International Airport and rent a car.  To get to the rental car lot, customers have to take a shuttle bus.  In the old days, shuttle bus drivers got going with jack rabbit starts, drove fast around curves and frequently jostled passengers.

Not today.  The shuttle bus companies installed Smartcam or Drivecam devices that continuously record what is happening in front of the bus and on the bus.  It only saves the recordings if there is an event such as an accident, a sudden jack rabbit start, a quick braking action, or even a manual turn on of the recorder by the driver.  Management (normally someone who manages the fleet or the manufacturer of the devices) checks the systems on each vehicle every night and reports events to the shuttle company’s management.

Once the drivers were trained on what these devices were capable of doing, jack rabbit starts disappeared, and the drivers started to operate their buses as if they were piloting 747 passenger jets.  They smoothed everything out and became cautious and calm drivers.

 

Traffic accidents pose a huge potential financial loss to organizations and severe injuries to the people involved.  Anything we can do to prevent such tragedies and make our vehicle fleet and its drivers safer will go a long way to helping us properly ensure vehicle safety management.

 

 

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

Stick To Safety

Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

 

What do you mean, stick to safety?  For those of you who are safety specialists for your organizations, management expects you to stick to what you have been hired to do.  Whether you are an internal safety person or an external safety consultant, you have been brought in to provide advisory support on the subject safety.

Well, of course, isn’t that what everyone does?

Not always.  Some safety people slip into giving advice beyond safety.  A common topic is telling managers and supervisors how to manage their organizations.  A friend and colleague of mine, a safety management consultant, did an audit of a manufacturing operation.  He saw that top management was not managing the firm to get the most out of its employees and assets.  In his report, he not only covered what needed to be done to enhance the safety effort, but he also gave suggestions for improving how management should oversee the organization which would help the safety program too.

He was invited to present his recommendations at a meeting of the organization’s board of directors.  When he started talking about his suggestions for improving management in general, my friend was literally asked to leave.  Management had hired him to do a safety management audit, not a management audit.  They were offended that he would presume that he had the right to tell them how to run their organization.

We don’t have the right to tell our managers how to run their organizations.  Our mission is to help management prevent losses, reduce the severity of those losses that occur, and comply with applicable standards.  We may use management techniques to achieve these results, but they must tie directly into our safety efforts and not how to manage the overall organization.

I have been tempted to help managers and supervisors improve their managerial skills, but I always knew that I had to integrate such suggestions into the safety effort, not the general management of the organization.

As safety people, we see things we believe should be accomplished differently, but we truly need to know our place and stick to safety, the reason we are there, unless directly asked otherwise.

 

For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition.  Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.