Re-examine the real reason why safety is important

Safety is not a once-off exercise, it is an ongoing approach to effectively achieving goals set out for the business concerned. For that reason, it is important to look back and see what works and what doesn’t so as to avoid making the same mistakes.

Jurgen Tietz, director at eKhuluma and Disruptive Safety, writes: “We want our employees to return home to reunite with their families, every day. We want our assets and plants to remain in a safe and productive state. We want to reuse our resources and be relentless in reducing waste and effluent. Our operations need to be refined to reach the goal of reliably producing environment-friendly products.

“Often, one of the causes of problems with safety is that we repeat old mistakes, over and over again. We need to think back and learn from the past. One of the ways to do this is by conducting managerial reviews as part of our management system and standards.”

Tietz emphasises the importance of reworking your safety approach with these “RE” words:

RETURN to the basics of safety.
REDISCOVER the power of people – driven by a safety vision.
REQUEST involvement and participation by all in safety.
REVIEW your safety approach – reactive or proactive?
RECONSIDER your “safety recipe” approach.
RENEW your safety systems and approach.
REFRESH your approach – no papers, posters and pamphlets.
REINVENT the way you engage your people in safety.
REFLECT on your attitude towards safety.
RECOGNISE safe behaviour and results.
REINFORCE safe behaviour.
REWARD Disruptive Safety – better, faster, cheaper, safer.
RECHARGE your safety efforts – our safety batteries are limited.
RETHINK the repercussions of taking chances.
RECALL incidents and remind employees of the consequences.
REVISE and REWRITE your procedures to include safety.
RE-EXAMINE what is preventing safety success.
REMOVE causes of reasons for unsafe behaviour.
RECTIFY unsafe conditions promptly.
REPAIR broken or damaged equipment or assets.
RESTORE safety equipment and devices.
REPRIMAND reckless behaviour.

Tietz says: “The word REACT is not in this list, because that is the most important behaviour/action to avoid in the realm of safety. The reactive approach focuses on compliance and corrective action only, rather than on prevention and doing the right things.

“Also note that the words REVIEW, RECONSIDER, RENEW and REFRESH are all key to Disruptive Safety, as a result it hs created The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide and will be running a training session this March.”

For more about the training session, click here.

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SHEQ Management

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