The Psychology of Safety – Compliance with Rules & Regulations

By Bob Lapidus, CSP (Retired), CSMS

 

A truism in the field of safety management is:

If you want to achieve successful safety results, you need to:

  1. Establish your safety mission, goals and objectives.
  2. Create safety policies, procedures, rules and regulations that work toward achieving the organization’s safety mission, goals and objectives.
  3. Communicate those safety policies, procedures, rules and regulations to all affected people.
  4. Ensure all affected people know the safety policies, procedures, rules and regulations on an ongoing basis.
  5. Require compliance with the safety policies, procedures, rules and regulations by holding people accountable.

Requiring compliance can be tricky because how an organization holds its people accountable has to do with the organization’s style of management.

A healthy style of management seeks to provide its employees with a work environment that encourages a positive work ethic.

I have said for years:

  • Give me a job.
  • Tell me what you expect me to do.
  • Let me have some say in how the work will be done.
  • Hold me accountable – – measure my performance.
  • And when I succeed, recognize my achievement.

So when I do what you want me to do (I comply), you let me know you are pleased with my work. When I don’t do what you want me to do (I don’t comply), you correct and coach me to change my ways and meet your expectations.

We have learned that if an employee is incapable of complying, or simply does not want to comply, that employee does not fit. Having to discipline an employee beyond positive correction and positive coaching should lead management to the conclusion that the employee needs to leave, at least that job. Perhaps the employee might work out in another position in the organization, but not the one s/he is currently in.

Such actions are part of the psychology of safety, achieving the behaviors you want accomplished in your organization. We have learned:

  1. Negative consequences build negative attitudes and behaviors
  2. Positive consequences build positive attitudes and behaviors.

Review how your organization seeks to obtain employee compliance with your safety policies, procedures, rules and regulations.

If negative consequences (verbal & written reprimands, suspensions, and terminations) are the order of the day, you will most likely have employees with negative attitudes and behaviors and consequently continued poor performance. If positive consequences (praise, uplifting comments, correction and coaching) are accomplished regularly, most likely you will have employees with positive attitudes and behaviors, and consequently the good performance you are seeking.

Go the Positive Route!

* * * * *

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.

Occupational Safety and Health Lessons from the Death of Jordan McNair

Jordan McNair was a 19-year-old football player for the University of Maryland who passed away from heat stroke on June 13. The student-athlete succumbed from the events that occurred during a May 29 team-organized conditioning test.

The first of two external investigations was released revealing numerous shortcomings in the following University’s procedures. You can read ESPN’s article here that summarizes findings of the investigation from Walters Inc.

Despite his status as being a student-athlete, occupational safety and health professionals can learn and identify several issues with the events that led to Jordan’s death. The news also comes at a time when federal OSHA is being pressured, by petitions and unions, to create a heat illness standard for one the most cited hazards in California, GISO 3395. What exactly went wrong:

1. Proper emergency response procedures were not followed or implemented properly.

Jordan was not taken to the hospital by emergency services until an hour and 39 minutes after the onset of symptoms. According to the report coaches interfered with proper medical procedures. According to the report and ESPN, “McNair was walked around the field for 34 minutes after becoming symptomatic.” When he was finally taken off the field, it was only possible with the assistance of two athletic training interns who struggled to keep him standing. The report states that injury evaluation “did not include any assessment or documentation of vital signs including core temperature.”

A change in the practice facility, due to construction, caused two issues. First, cold whirlpools or baths were not readily available (on the field) at the temporary site of Cole Field House, although they are part of usual setups. This played a role in his death because by the time Jordan was taken off the field, cooling methods, such as ice packs or towels, were no longer effective for lowering his body temperature. Baths were available on-site, despite not being on the field, but their location was unclear. Wes Robinson, the head athletic trainer, was concerned with transporting the larger Jordan with the help of two, smaller student trainers. Wes feared that the use of the bath could lead to drowning due to the seizures Jordan was experiencing.

The second issue was an inability to provide accurate directions to the emergency response services and no one met the ambulance as it arrived. It took 32 minutes for emergency services to respond and prepare him to go to the hospital according to the report. Some of that time was the result of the ambulance going to an upper parking lot instead of the field. In the University’s plan, a representative is, also, supposed to meet the ambulance, but that was not followed; delaying time before transportation to the hospital.

2. Jordan was not Acclimated.

One of the most important factors not revealed in ESPN’s article, although some language suggests it, is that the May 29 conditioning practice was Jordan’s first team-activity in over a month. The Baltimore Sun released the information based on logs from the University that are required by the NCAA. The logs revealed that the deceased had not participated in team-organized workouts for 33 days prior.

Even at a seemingly comfortable 80 degrees, a temperature high enough to mandate heat illness procedures in California, a lack of acclimatization potentially played a key role in Jordan’s death. Those who are skeptical of acclimatization’s role in heat illness don’t need to look any farther than fatalities in California. See the chart below that presents a damning correlation between days on the job and the 25 occupational heat-related fatalities investigated by Cal/OSHA in a single calendar year.

 

3.  Poor Safety (and Health) Culture

For anyone in safety and health, safety culture is brought up frequently. Somewhat different from other responsibilities, it was more to do with social make-up and interactions than physical, biological, or chemical ones. I’ll warn you that this section is a little less objective than the previous two. When we talk about poor safety and health culture, what are we referring to?

We are referring to an environment based on fear and intimidation supported by administrative staff, an administrative/ coaching staff that ignore the recommendations of licensed physicians and the people that push the “no quit”  and too vulgar for Safety Center to want to share mentality that contributed to Jordan’s death and others like him.

By now, I’ve likely lost a few readers because that mentality is one that is comparable to those in many blue-collar occupations we work with. Culture impacts not only how administrative staff operates, but every employee that works with them (maybe too obvious here). Poor environments, like the one at the University of Maryland’s football program, are contagious.

It is our responsibility to stop them from spreading.

The investigation of the incident, by Walters Incorporated that led to Jordan McNair’s death has painted an ugly picture of the football program at the University of Maryland. More so, it reveals the deficiencies and provides a learning opportunity for us in the occupational safety and health field. Lessons like these come at a steep price. Don’t waste them.

 

 

 

The Psychology of Safety – Don’t Blindside Your Fellow Employees

By Bob Lapidus, CSP (Retired), CSMS

 

Pet Peeve:  Being Blindsided

You are going about your work life minding your own business when suddenly out of the blue someone tells you that you are doing a particular task absolutely unsafely. You should have known better.

You had never had anyone previously tell you that you were doing something wrong. No one had ever taught you anything differently and you have been doing this specific task in this way for two full years in front of all your fellow employees and supervisors.

Then you learn that what you have been doing is truly dangerous and you could have been killed or severely injured.

At first you are mad that someone would blindside you. Then you are mad that no one had ever warned you, and finally after some soulful searching, you are thankful to learn what the hazard is and how to avoid it. The mad part lasted a lot longer than the feel good part. That’s not the way it should be.

We know it can take much time identifying the safety hazards built into individual tasks. One of the most successful ways of achieving success in identifying specific-task hazards is to do Job Safety Analysis (JSA). It has been and is a superb method to find out what hazards exist in your organization’s jobs. JSA is time consuming.

In larger organizations, identifying specific-task hazards could be monumental; think years. That’s okay. We are here for the long run so we work on those tasks that have already had a high frequency and/or severity of injuries and then target those tasks that have a higher potential for severe losses. Time should not stop us from using this technique.

Nevertheless, to avoid blindsiding your fellow employees, you need to:

  1. Establish expectations – What do you want your employees to do?
  2. Let them know the expectations – tell them; train them.
  3. Hold them accountable for doing what you want them to do. If they do it, recognize and praise them. If they don’t do it, coach and counsel them.
  4. If people still don’t work safely, consider removing them from the job. Once you get to discipline, it’s too late. They just don’t fit your organization or at least that particular job and what your organization wants them to do.

Just don’t blindside them. Be upfront.

* * * * *

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 Psychology of Safety – Taking Risks

By Bob Lapidus, CSP (Retired), CSMS

There is a psychology to safety that most of us know exists, but maybe we don’t discuss it as such.  It comes in a variety of ways, one of which is taking risks.

Think about taking risks.  Think about yourself.  It’s actually easier that way.  In my case, I look at myself as a low-risk taker.  Instead of becoming a USAF pilot, I became a USAF Base Ground Safety Officer, seeking to prevent losses on an air force base.  Then I continued in the safety management field for the remainder of my career.  When I have a choice of taking a risk versus safety, I choose safety . . . most of the time.

On the other hand, there are many other people who when confronted with taking a risk versus safety, choose the risk every time.  What drives them to take risks?

The thrill of taking a risk?
The thought that s/he can take the risk without something bad happening?
The pressure of time to get something done?
Peer pressure to take risks?
Knowing someone else took the same risk and got away with it?
Thinking the risk is worth the potential reward, no matter the potential consequences?
Thinking there is low probability of getting hurt?
Thinking that taking risks makes life more exciting and therefore more fulfilling?

We read about people taking risks and sustaining severe injuries or being killed.  Normally in those cases, we learn something about how the injury or death occurred and we try to take actions to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Yet, the memory fades and life goes on, and the same kind of incident occurs again and again because we say, it won’t happen to me.

Risk taking as a part of the psychology of safety needs to be addressed on an ongoing basis because it is such an inherent part of safety management and accident prevention.

Talking about this subject with others in our lives is critical to preventing the preventable accident and their results.

Safety specialists and their management teams need to continually strive to embed a culture of safety into their organizations.  Risk taking needs to be addressed with everyone.

 

* * * * *

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.

 

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.