“This is the single most important article for everyone involved and/or committed to achieving Safety Excellence to read! Outstanding work! Every CEO, Senior Management Team, Safety Professional, HR Professional, Safety Committee Member, Father, Mother, Brother, Sister and employees MUST Read this article and help out companies and organizations do a much better job of managing safety! Congratulations Dave & Judith!” – Alan D. Quilley CRSP
Hypercompliance – Too Much of a Good Thing – Dave Rebbitt and Judith Erickson
He’s not only 10 years older…he’s ten years wiser!
It’s been 10 years since my first book “The Emperor Has No Hard Hat – Achieving REAL Workplace Safety Results” was published. It’s been quite a ride since the Globe and Mail was kind enough to recognize “The Emperor” by including my book on their Best Business Books of 2006 – Honourable Mention. I believe that’s the ONLY time the Globe & Mail has EVER included a Safety Management focused book on their Best Books list.
Over the past 10 years I have focused my work, consultancy and articles on my safety system model that was describe in “The Emperor.” My version of an “Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS)” has made some real changes to many companies and corporations and more importantly positively impacted how some people think and manage safety. Shifting the focus from preventing accidents to creating safety through measured activities gets improved results. Not only does this much more positive approach work; it feels better while we’re doing it.
ISMS is a live system, It’s not an audit, it’s not a prescriptive standard, it is a way of approaching your efforts to truly manage the critical Whats and Hows of your business to achieve REAL results. It’s really about how you run your business.
So it’s time to re-invigorate the things “The Emperor” learned about those Hows and Whats of managing safety. How leaders and managers can take their “commitment” and turn it into action that gets REAL safety results.
I hope you enjoy the adventures of The Emperor and consider the path he took to achieving real results. I can assure you that pathway is still as valid today now as it was then. Probably more so since the experience of many more corporations has demonstrated that Creating Safety is much more efficient and effective than preventing accidents.
For further info and some samples of The Emperor Has No Hard Hat – Achieving REAL Workplace Safety Results” content, click on the following excerpt titles:
Overview of ISM
ROI & Selling Safety
What others have said about The Emperor!
Review from Carsten Busch
My special thanks to Carsten Busch who took the time out of his busy schedule to read and review my books. I’ve come to know Carsten through our LinkedIn discussions and found him to be a wonderfully thought provoking Safety Professional. I highly recommend that you visit his website www.mindtherisk.com and, if you get a chance, join a discussion he’s involved in on LinkedIn. You’ll be better off because of it!
Consider measuring and nesting expectations and behaviours that CREATE Safety. Include your Management Team! Thoughts? Please share with your team and start the larger discussion of measuring safety and not the lack of it!
One of the best questions any Leader can ask of the people doing the work of their companies is “What are you doing today to create safety?” This is an important question to be answered because if it can’t be answered then safety isn’t being created. Safety creation activities are the key to achieving safety excellence. Safety is like any human endeavor, we have to make it happen (or we’re just counting on luck). Here are examples of the two possible scenarios:
Wishing & Hoping Safety
The first of the two scenarios is what I call “Wishing and Hoping Safety.” Folks who manage this way subscribe to the idea that since nothing bad has happened, we must be doing things well. These companies measure their safety success by counting injuries (or lack thereof). When there are no injuries, they assume proudly that they created that situation where no injuries occurred. Trouble is little or no effort has gone into creating the safe situation so it could be, at best, a guess that safety happened.
It’s also highly likely that unsafe things happened today but they were fortunate enough not to pay the price with a resulting injury. An additional dynamic with this type of Wishing & Hoping Safety is there is a high likelihood that when an injury does happen there is blame flailed around in all directions (except back at the blamer). Insults pointed at the injured human like (Stupid, No-Common Sense, Idiot) are all too likely. For more on the silliness bordering on insane use of “Common Sense” and the wise use of Common Knowledge” see:
Integrated Safety Management System
The second of the two scenarios, which is much wiser and more stable is taking an Integrated Safety Management System approach. This requires intent, actions and evidence to build safe places to work Best of all it measures the existence of those actions to develop confidence that there is a causal relationship between the actions and the outcomes. Sounds to me like we’re actually starting to manage!
Over time, a state of safety excellence is created and exists consistently and predictably. The company works long periods of time with few downgrading incidents. When they do happen, a calm and measured response is likely. There is empathy for the people injured and a true commitment to uncover what may be something missed in creating safety excellence. The pride comes not from pretending perfection but from an overwhelming commitment to learning from mistakes and continual improvement. Reports of actions taken is the highlight of the statistical analysis since there are very few injuries to count. When a day is finished there are statistical measures on what was done to create safety and therefore likely an incident free day.
So there you have it, TWO states for your company to be in… Wishing & Hoping or creating safety excellence through thoughtful and diligent use of an Integrated Safety Management System. One you need to change as soon as possible the other one you should be extremely proud of!
So tomorrow morning, ask 10 people who work at your company the question “What Are YOU Doing Today To Make Safety Happen? If you like the answers you hear, congratulations. If you hear a lot of pausing and “aww, well, you see…ummm, aww” you know what you need to do. Start asking for the creation of safety activities to be reported.
For more information on creating safety excellence visit Safety Results Ltd.