Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Live From Safety 2014: How Do You Define These 12 Key Words?

During his concurrent education session at ASSE's Safety 2014 in Orlando, FL, James "Skipper" Kendrick discussed 12 key words in the OSH profession:
  1. compliance
  2. business
  3. people
  4. personal
  5. system
  6. leadership
  7. management
  8. risks
  9. error
  10. design
  11. metrics
  12. results
He prefaced his discussion with a couple of caveats: None of these words are unfamiliar to OSH professionals and all of them are topics in the Safety 2014 program, much like many of them have been talked about a previous conferences, seminars and workshops. And, that, Kendrick said, is why they remain important. "If we are talking these 12 words, how well are we walking them in our workplaces?"

Kendrick then asked attendees to be brutally honest as in assessing the current state of their own programs--on a scale of 5 (excellent), 3 (good) and 1 (lacking) as he progressed through a discussion of each word. Here are some highlights:
  • Compliance: It's a given--the baseline.
  • Business: You have to understand how you contribute to your organization's business.
  • People: Everything you do as an OSH professional is about people.
  • System: A system is continual and ever improving--and you have to keep a focus on that.
  • Leadership: It's not just those who are known leaders, but also the silent leaders you can count on to advocate for safety.
  • Management: What gets managed gets done.
  • Risks: Nothing is risk free. It's one thing to define the hazards of the work, but you also have to identify, understand and control the associated risks.
  • Errors: Remember that errors are not the same as violations. Organizations should welcome reports and feedback on error in order to reduce or eliminate consequences.
  • Design: Examine the design considerations in everything you do.
  • Metrics: Measure the positive things we do instead of focusing solely the problems that arise related to what we intended to do.
  • Results: Each organization must define what results are most important.
How does your safety system rate?