The House Hippo is Alive and Well and visiting a website near you!

For those of you who are interested in causality and cause-effect relationships it’s important to have a basic understanding of how the science works…without this rigor you really don’t know what is causing the effect you are seeing. Grand claims can be made as to a product’s effectiveness without any real data at all. I’m sure you’ve all see examples of unsupported “opinion”. Heinrich is a perfect example of conclusion without evidence. There’s a great deal of that on the internet since there’s really no watchdog. Many of these products could not advertise their claims on TV because of that watchdog. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the truth in advertising commercials aimed at making our children wiser consumers. Here’s a humorous example:

“9 out of 10 dentists” claim success related to the use of the famous  toothpaste is a perfect example of grand claims made without evidence. The effect was real…less tooth decay. The truth was the  effect was caused more so by the subjects brushing their teeth more often (because it was being measured) than that formula of the toothpaste.

Cold-FX is a current example of the claims being challenged by REAL science.

What you will find is that if there is a great deal of money to be made then there is a great reason to put a positive spin on the product. These claims can be supported by many, many, well-meaning people without any science…they are simply “convinced” sometimes by group think and the “Hawthorne effect”.

Here’s some primary links to start you thinking about the reality in some claims you’ll hear on the internet…maybe the effect is a positive one…the real question and one that Heinrich didn’t discover is WHY?

Enjoy…the house hippo maybe visiting a website near to you.

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein.

What is your working definition of “safety”? We use it all the time so are we cler on what it means to us?

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein.

In this famous quote Albert illustrates that was should know what we mean before we try to explain it to others. We want a “Safety” Culture or “Safe Work”. How do we explain the terms “Safe & Safety” to ourselves and others?

Asking safety practitioners and professionals on Linkedin this question is getting some pretty diverse answers. How can we possibly get others to understand the creation of safety cultures if we can’t agree ourselves.


Deming’s 14 Points Applied To Safety Management

Be like NIKE and Larry the Cable Guy…Just Do IT and Git-R-Done!

The key to #safety management is not audits and low numbers of injuries.

I’m not the only one concerned about ISO being ineffective:

For those who have read the recent Harvard Report (see link below) I won’t quote the glowing reports of ISO’s benefits on salaries, sales, etc.…they can be assumed by the fact that the paper even got published. What my concern is the following quote from the report regarding the lagging indicators of safety measurement which is exactly the surprise outcome Petersen found in his early work…passing an audit was not the critical factor in safety performance:

“ISO 9001 adopters already had slightly lower than average injury costs at the time of adoption, and we found no evidence that this gap widened or narrowed post adoption. Adopters were more likely to report no injuries for workers’ compensation in the years following adoption. We found no differences in the number of injuries between adopters and matched comparison firms that reported a positive number of injuries.”

So what are we to make of this…”Harvard Study Says ISO has little or no effect on safety outcomes for well managed companies?” Will this be a slide in the ISO future safety related presentations? Somehow I doubt it…let’s keep this little tidbit quiet.

Perhaps what is at play here is that well managed companies are the only ones really seeking this type of recognition…perhaps it’s not ISO at all that is the key factor to safety success.

Regarding the “forced” aspect of ISO companies forcing their suppliers to seek ISO certification I guess that brings into question the almost 1 million certified companies…why do they really bother? Customer requirements? Pride? Why would any company meet the requirements then not be officially audited? More hypothetical questions I guess that will have no answers.

Read the report yourselves…


Deming and ISO REALLY?…For the record he thought the idea was WRONG!

Of course you all realize that Deming himself wasn’t much of a fan of ISO…seems odd that so much of the ISO craze is based on his work when he clearly saw the ISO approach as contrary to his main thoughts on the Quality/Continuous Improvement approach so many are using. He was, as many of us are, a fan of using our own evidence to continuously improve (statistical process control charts).

“Measuring yourself against some “international” standard isn’t much use to anyone in your company.” – Alan D. Quilley CRSP

The following is from his own organization:

“Throughout the day Deming took swipes at a lot of today’s popular buzzwords.  For example, he apparently doesn’t care much for ISO 9000 or zero defects. “ISO 9000 shows a lack of brains,” he chided the audience. “Zero defects,” he said, “down the tubes we go.”

He doesn’t care much for the benchmarking craze that’s sweeping the nation either.  “Benchmarking is the last stage of civilization,” he claimed.
Neither were self-directed work teams safe from Deming’s scrutiny. “Each works for its own goals and benefit,” he said. “They are very destructive.”

Deming spent much of the third day explaining how to use control charts correctly.  He made sure that the audience knew the difference between common causes of variation and special causes.  He used the data collected during the Red Bead Experiment to demonstrate this.”

Using Deming to support ISO is like expecting that Warren Buffet would support “large corporate debt” as the key to business success.

Please watch the man himself…if you think for one moment that this incredible thought leader believed in some kind of external auditor adding value to your company, you simply aren’t paying attention.

Another interesting video:

The Red Bead Experiment –

Safety Results Ltd. Courses Dec. 5 & 6, 2011 Enroll NOW!

Practical Based Safety ©2011         

Sherwood Park, December 5, 2011

A full 1 day program that will make safety personal through understanding how safety is managed and what we can all do personally to increase the chances we and the people we work with will be safe and productive. Our focus will be to learn how to do things that decrease the chances that we will take unnecessary risks doing the work we do and not experience the costs and delays associated with downgrading incidents.

Incident Investigation ©2011

Sherwood Park, December 6, 2011

A full one-day program that will teach the fundamentals of incident investigation based on an Energy/Barriers model of causation. The course takes a practical based approach to ensuring all of the underlying causes to an incident are uncovered and improved. Using these method will help to eliminate the causes of injury, illness and downgrading incidents that pain, suffering, financial loss cause and productivity reductions.

Visit for further information, or to be taken to more information and registration details.