• Michael Wilson
    We have had a massive reduction in injuries since I moved in to this position (Claims costs down 94% over three years) but I still take it personally when someone is injured or fails to follow their procedures or training.

    Is this a common feeling amongst H&S practitioners or am I just a bit neurotic?
  • Chris Peace
    Working as an academic, no, not at a personal level.
    But as a long-time OHS consultant and academic, each newspaper report of a workplace fatality, and each court case following a traumatic death grieves me. Each means that whanau have lost someone they loved. Children may grow up not knowing a father or sibling; parents may bury a child.
    Pike River still makes me downright angry. We the country accepted poor legislation, and an underfunded regulator. It took 29 deaths to make the major changes and we still have a journey to travel.
    And well done Michael! That is an excellent result. Can you share your critical success factors? What can others learn from you?
  • Chrissy Roff
    I agree with Chris, great result Michael, and I too would love to know some of your successful strategies.
  • Steve H
    We the country accepted poor legislation, and an underfunded regulatorChris Peace

    With no change in the number of workplace deaths, and an increasing serious injury rate Chris, from my jaundiced eye, I don't see any improvement, improving legislation is all very well,but only if it's combined with education and enforcement.

    But I agree with you,Michael you are clearly doing things that are working, are you working on a paper (or three) and a book, because there have to be somethings that you do,that will work in other workplaces.

    And grumpy bugger that i am, I want to see the workplace death rate trending down, in a similar fashion to the road toll, which has halved in the last 40 years
  • Andrew

    It is very unhealthy to take the consequences of actions taken by others on your own shoulders.

    Every night I go to sleep very easy knowing I have done the right thing.
  • Scott Williams
    You raise an interesting topic; I'm surprised how few comments this has.

    The statement "I still take it personally when someone is injured or fails to follow their procedures or training" is the veritable pandora's box.

    Why are they not "follow[ing] their procedures or training"? Do you have any leading indicators of procedures or training?

    In my opinion, huge claim cost reductions often come at the expense of something. Is this 'something' related to why people are not following procedures and training?

    Also, what industry are you talking about?
  • Andy Huntley
    Hi Michael,

    Are you still at CablePrice? No I would not take it personally. If someone fails to follow a procedure or training I would want to review both the procedure and the training to ensure that there wasn't any misalignment of work as done and work as imagined. The training may cover the procedure, but was it delivered in a manner that the recipient understood? Is English the first language for example, are they able to read and understand, are they visual or kinesthetic learners?

    Well done on the claims cost reductions. What do you put that down to? I.e. have you done anything to try and assess whether the claims costs reduction correlates to an increase in safety capacity over the period of your tenure - possibly through increased worker engagement?
  • Mike Massaar
    No, I don't. If you're confident in your systems and processes you shouldn't. Perhaps their Manager could. Well done on reducing incidents and injury, but have you reduced risk?
  • Tim Beach
    I have previously! It has not been such a big deal in my current role (low injury rate)
    It is an interesting discussion as I have a strong view that injuries can be prevented. Sometimes it can be as easy as one of my favorite sayings - A place for everything and everything in its place, together with having good procedures and creating an interest around it. Also when injuries happen they can be managed, early intervention can save a minor injury developing into significant time away from work and spiraling costs. Like you Michael, I have, previously achieved mid ninety percent reductions in both cost and time lost. It is satisfying, because knowing a full contingent of workers reduces pressures and makes achieving the work more achievable and reduces the risk of more injuries occurring.
  • Don Auckram
    You're showing compassion for your people, bloody awesome. As safety people you are always trying to improve so no-one gets hurts. No matter how good we think we are. If someone is hurt you always ask yourself what more could I have done, how can we be better, and in a way it is personal. People make mistakes. To rely on procedures/systems sets the workplace for a failure.
  • Sarah Bond
    Interesting: when I'm coaching people that are new to HSE, we have a discussion about discretion and the ability to sleep at night.

    If you are 'in house' to avoid insanity, a safety person constantly has to ask 'is this 'issue' life threatening? Then, is this the ditch I want to die in, or can I triage it for a later date? If you are clear about what your key projects are and the HSE vision that the organisation is moving towards will this add value?

    It takes time and experience to trust your own intuition and you WILL make mistakes. That's why having a close group of 'ride or die' colleagues that you can talk to 'unedited' is mission critical.

    Secondly, when it comes to being able to 'sleep at night', Spend time trying to stay up to date with everything from PPE innovation to case law. If you give the best technical advice/guideance you can, it's then up to your stakeholders to take it on board. If they choose not to follow the advice that's on them.

    Finally, when it comes to life changing injuries, or fatalities, from my personal experience you WILL go through a grieving procrss and part of that process will likely be working through feelings of being 'responsible'. This is part of being human. This is where having a sound After Action Review process and Employee Assistance Programmes for HSE people AND everyone else is ideal.
Add a Comment

Welcome to the Safeguard forum!

If you are interested in workplace health & safety in New Zealand, then this is the discussion forum for you.