• Effective sign - Speed limit
    This could work well if they were moved around occasionally at random intervals, and perhaps changed up a bit each time.
  • Rebecca Macfie on Pike River, ten years on
    As for comparison with other countries, YES - a family friend who lives in Germany lost his son in a workplace accident (their daughter was traveling here in NZ at the time of the incident, and my partner and I found ourselves looking after her and providing comfort and support as she organised to fly back to Germany to be at his bedside). It was heartbreaking to hear their story - a "reputable" and relatively high-profile German company that had little to no workplace safety management systems to provide training, safe systems of work, or many of the most basic safety measures we would pretty much take for granted here in NZ. Our friend's son, who was barely 21 at the time, just happened to be standing where an unsecured load of 80x 50kg metal plates slid off a forklift as the driver was rounding a corner, slamming unexpectedly into the young man's shins and slamming him backward onto the ground, his head brutally slammed into the ground with such force that he sustained a brain injury so severe that he never regained consciousness before his distraught parents made the heart-breaking decision to take him off life support. The company avoided making contact with the family or the young man's partner, essentially avoiding any engagement and there was certainly no apology. The unfortunate forklift driver who had only been trying to help was given a token fine and will have to live with this for the rest of his life, although the bereaved parents have assured him they don't hold the driver to blame. The parents have recognised that the employer had neglected its duty to its workers, and unfortunately, the German government and its regulatory agencies seem to have little inclination to hold companies or their executives appropriately accountable. The parents have now become activists, reaching out to other parents similarly bereaved due to workplace safety failings to bring greater awareness and employer accountability. It was only after intensive and sustained pressure from the parents that the regulatory body even went as far as to agree to conduct a proper investigation, although as far as I can see this has still not happened some 3-4 years later. The parents told us the regulatory body in Germany still has no "teeth" to bring any consequences to bear upon an employer; they can only inform or recommend changes. That's pretty pathetic and ineffective - little more than lip service.

    As a side note. the government payout for the workplace death was not even enough to pay for the funeral costs, and the employer shunned the family completely - no communication with parents or partner, and no offers to help.

    Remember - this was in Germany, which is often held up as a leading light in the industrialised world.
  • Rebecca Macfie on Pike River, ten years on
    Yes - how ironic, and how futile, to seek unthinking obedience while at the same time aiming to promote greater engagement and individual accountability. Doh!!
  • Challenge to the 'I have the answers' approach
    Yes - I have just been reflecting on this very issue. There is an element of "the chicken vs the egg" here.

    Sometimes the issue arises from a safety practitioner who comes onto the scene with an agenda to establish themselves as an 'expert' with all the answers. They have completed the same regimented safety training and qualifications, which has taught them a linear approach to safety matters, their heads crammed with a set of indoctrinated rules and frameworks but lacking insights into the dynamics behind them or the wisdom to be resilient and responsive.

    It's quite ironic that so many employers place such priority on people holding particular safety qualifications, but then many of the hiring managers have not themselves delved more deeply into understanding their own needs, and because many crave CERTAINTY most of all, they will choose to work with the safety practitioner who comes across as most certain, who may not necessarily know how to tailor their approach or adapt to conditions.

    It also occurs to me that while many safety practitioners bemoan the lack of engagement of managers and workers, feeling that this justifies stepping into the breach themselves to make sure it gets done, are actually as much a part of the problem.

    When we take over the process, we have just allowed those managers to disengage and slip out of what should be their own accountability, so why are they so surprised when the whole H&S system and activities fall back into their own lap?

    How different might things be if safety practitioners were taught more about leadership and coached in more depth of understanding of the purpose and intent of safety requirements, instead of so much focus on being able to memorise and regurgitate key technical information - most of which can easily be found on the internet anyway. What would those conversations sound like if safety practitioners would be coached to enhance emotional intelligence and facilitation skills, to be more genuinely curious and interested in all the dynamics of interacting with others, to identify and address more of their own limiting beliefs, assumptions, values, biases, etc?

    As Einstein is often quoted, "The problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." "The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things and expecting a different result." Other relevant quotes - not sure of all the sources - "For things to change, first I must change." "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

    Let's stretch our thinking. As long as safety practitioners - for whatever reason - keep jumping in and taking over, the same cyclic arguments will continue to frustrate everyone, and people will continue to be injured at work.
  • Training ideas | templates | etc.
    I have emailed you.....thank you.
  • LTI severity rating
    It doesn't help that many organisations (of all sizes and types of industry) and even many safety managers / advisors / consultants still haven't properly come to terms with concepts (and distinctions) of hazard, risk, likelihood, severity, control, and effective risk management processes. Then they will be able to effectively identify critical risks and relevant management protocols for those risks. I have seen too many risk registers from said safety managers / advisors / consultants that lack sufficient detail and clarity for them to be useful as risk management tools.

    Once the risk registers have been appropriately created - including consultation with relevant workers and use of tools such as Bow Tie Risk Assessment, even tailoring HACCP protocols for each context - Critical Risks can be prioritised, and effectiveness of control of these could be monitored using information such as tracking and reporting use of key designated controls - ie the monitoring piece that should accompany the controls. It would be quite an undertaking to set up, but once in place could provide valuable insights to officers of the company to conduct due diligence without getting dragged down into the details.

    I can kind of visualise how it could work - hard to explain in a few paragraphs, but I am sure it would work if the system was designed appropriately, and it would focus much more on leading indicators than lag indicators.
  • Who influenced you?
    I was also working with a Goodman Fielder company when Terry Johnson - along with his manager, based in Australia - rolled out "Safety the Goodman Fielder Way". Terry is a great example of someone with fundamental technical expertise, practical experience, and exceptional communication and leadership skills - very inspiring.
  • is a spider bite a work related LTI?
    I know of one large international company where the NZ division had just celebrated 2 years LTI-free, then a worker unloading a container was bitten by a white-tail spider and ended up having treatment and time off work.....a rather uncomfortable occurrence right after their recognition, and the regional H&S Manager was quite angry about it!

    Biological agents such as insects definitely should be included in the list of hazards where workers can come into contact with them in the course of their work, with relevant insect control programmes and consideration of PPE where relevant. Glasshouses, for example, include bee sting prevention measures in their controls and require workers to notify them if they are allergic to bee stings so first aid kits and first aiders can be prepared.
  • Occupational health nurses
    I have also seen some excellent OHNs who filled the gap left when workplaces no longer had someone in the role of chaplain. The OHN was trusted sounding board who could do things like encourage use of EAP services and direct someone having difficulties to get some help and get things resolved. I am certain the OHN also headed off a number of injury claims by organising early intervention strategies, as well as scolding the person who was not taking the required actions to support healing when they were experiencing OOS. I am thinking of one in particular who was exceptional.
  • Training ideas | templates | etc.
    Some possible resources:

    And these tips from Dr Rich Allen himself:
    - Brain research suggests:
    - Movement helps students stay awake and focused.
    - Student-to-student conversation leads to better understanding.
    - Visuals can/should be used as triggers to recall key content.
    - Music, used properly, can be a significant tool for teaching and learning.
    - Memory strategies instantly boost understanding and test scores.
    - Effective directions are the key to successful student activities.
    - Novelty intrigues the mind and fires curiosity.
    - Relevance makes learning real, improving engagement.
    - Learning is always emotional – positive or negative!
    - Homework rarely improves learning outcomes. (Really!)
  • Training ideas | templates | etc.

    Traditional teaching and training used to be set up for information to be 'handed down' from a teacher or subject matter expert, and most of the communication was one-way. It's probably the least effective way for people to learn and typically produces little transformation of behaviours or understanding, to say nothing of engaging and motivating learners.

    As a general tip, most of the people we are working with in these situations are more accustomed to actively DOING things rather than sitting passively and being talked at, so the first thing would be to look for ways to make training more active. There are SO many possibilities with a bit of creative thinking! The more active and the more novel the activities, the greater impact of learning.

    Making content more active can be as simple as doing matching or organising activities with cards. Or you can post photos on the walls and get people to move around the room in pairs or small groups with instructions to identify something in the photo - e.g., hazards, PPE, safety equipment, etc.

    A simple review can be done standing up in a circle with a hackysack (or something that won't injure anyone and won't readily roll away!), and each person has to name one thing related to the content, then pass the hackysack to someone else, until everyone has had a turn.

    With bigger groups, I would split into two teams, that line up beside each other, and I have a set of questions to ask. If they get their question right, they get a point. If they get it wrong or don't know the answer, the other team can have a go. After the person at the front has answered, they go to the back of the queue. Depending on the size of the group, they may cycle through more than one question per person. This activity offers a multi-sensory review, and also you can coach people by asking more questions if their answers are not quite complete. I would write the score as hash marks on a whiteboard, or you can have a bowl or plate for each team and place a chocolate on their plate for every correct answer.

    For adult learners, it works a lot more effectively to facilitate discussion and ask questions to get people to explain in their own words, which reinforces that they KNOW that they know the important points. Find out what they know already, then reinforce and recognise them for that. Then you can ask more questions to get them to fill in any gaps.

    From a neuroscience point of view, one of the most effective ways of getting learners engaged is to start with a carefully designed activity that isn't directly tied to the subject matter until after they have finished the activity. That's kind of hard to explain here! But as an example, I often start with a common game activity where I can reasonably predict certain outcomes or behaviours, which I can then use to make points that relate to the subject we are going to talk about. They then have an internalised experience of the concept, which gives them some useful context for the information that follows. I do this when I want people to understand concepts like hazard ID and why we have a SMS, which can otherwise be quite abstract for some people.

    I hope that is some help - this is such a vast area of possibilities. I have done a lot of training on this, and still a lot of what I do is just trying things, and often an idea just comes to me when I am preparing.

    You can also Google Dr Rich Allen and The Power to Train - I think he has a blog with a lot of good ideas for making training more active. He was my very first trainer on accelerated learning and adult learning, and I remember one of his early pieces of advice to me was that if I was enjoying myself, my audience would too. If I am bored, they will be bored as well.
  • Training ideas | templates | etc.
    I may be able to help if I can better understand what you are looking for.
  • Position Paper on Cannabis
    I'm not sure if TDDA is still offering their CSI course (Comprehensive Substance Identification), but it was a really structured approach to identifying whether someone was under the influence of a substance and how to identify what type of substance - an approach used in USA with drug enforcement officers, which would also provide concrete support for probable cause testing. Their methodology included some specific assessments that would simply and easily indicate cognitive impairment, which could then be supported with relevant testing to confirm.

    I have long held the view that the core purpose is about impairment, and we are long overdue to develop a suitable and reliable framework for assessing impairment, especially as the same impairment criteria should also be applied to prescription medications and also for making a determination that someone is sufficiently fatigued as to be impaired, since there is already a lot of research indicating that someone who is fatigued may be as impaired as someone who is over the legal limit for alcohol consumption, and yet most organisations don't address adequately fatigue.
  • Who influenced you?
    The first company I worked with was Dow Corning Corporation in Midland, Michigan, USA. The company got its impressive management systems and safety culture from Dow Chemical Company, which had partnered with Corning Glass to create Dow Corning Corporation.

    Dow Corning (DCC) had really integrated a lot of great safety practices into all its business. Safety was EVERYONE's business. Each department held its own monthly safety meeting, which included a requirement for inspection of the department's areas (ours was made up of laboratories and offices) as well as running a meeting with a training topic included. Responsibilities for the inspection and meeting were carried out by two people at a time, and were rostered so that every single person, even every manager, took a turn at both inspection and running a meeting. We were all responsible for the safety of our workplace.

    I happened to have a particularly good manager in that department, too. He had amazing leadership skills and was able to inspire and motivate each person to bring their best to their work. He was an amazing coach who knew how to give feedback that would leave you feeling positive even if he was correcting a mistake.

    Together, this manager and a strong safety culture, along with FDA compliance requirements (think management systems disciplines) associated with this first job gave an amazing foundation for holistic safety and risk management disciplines.

    Fast forward now to the current H&S Team I am working with at T&G. Head of Health and Safety Leanne Wardle is very knowledgeable, highly experienced in safety management, very pragmatic and business-savvy, and she provides a credible presence for safety matters at the executive Risk and Governance Committee. I am particularly inspired by a comprehensive H&S strategic plan that is coherent, practical, aligned with organisational vision and strategy, and particularly for me, is underpinned by values that align with my own and are consistently displayed behaviourally by Leanne and T&G Fresh H&S Manager Brenton Harrison, with whom I am working quite closely at the moment. The entire H&S Team are driven by shared values and clarity of purpose, particularly the desire to keep people safe. The strategy and strategic plan are particularly ambitious and fast-paced, but rather than feeling pressured or stressed, I feel inspired and drawn into their vision of developing people and skills to be able to keep themselves safe - we are providing tools, support and guidance to take our people on a journey.
  • Accident Investigations - Tick & Flick?
    In one training room there was a poster that said, "The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions." Isn't that one of the biggest challenges of getting useful outcomes from investigations?

    Most people don't even realise that they app[ly their own biases and don't know how to ask useful questions that advance the investigation. My experience has been - including when delivering training - that most people start with an idea of what the cause is and then shape the investigation to support what they already think.

    I taught people a simple hierarchy of questions (and then got trainees to do an exercise to practice using them, giving them feedback when they went off track, which was surprisingly often!) - start with a big, very open question that invites the other person to tell a story. Then ask a probing question about a specific part of that story (which is where most people jump into assumptions and closed questions), then a closed question to confirm a fact. I used to draw a funnel to show the levels of questions wide at the top, narrowing, then "a single drop of truth" coming out at the bottom, which then leads to the next open question.

    Most people don't really get trained in how to follow an effective line of questioning for an investigation. If you start using closed questions too early in your line of questioning, you have introduced bias and limited the direction of the investigation.

    It's also quite likely that many people find investigations tedious and are only interested in arriving at a conclusion in order to close out the investigation, rather than the wider intention of preventing future events.

    I have usually found that adopting a mindset of curiosity about the event is really helpful - it becomes a task of exploring (open mind) rather than seeking (looking for proof to support what you have already decided). Usually the many "curious" questions come quite naturally from this mindset. I can recall investigating a serious harm incident (that barely missed being a fatality) using this mindset, and the whole process was rather like seeing a 3D model take shape in front of me. I went in with no assumptions, just asked a lot of questions and did a lot of listening. While it might have been easy for senior managers to blame the guy who was injured, it very quickly became clear that the site layout, lockout process and other systems did not lend themselves to good compliance with machinery isolation and confined space entry. There were also other psycho-social factors and organisational culture factors that strongly influenced behaviours and also needed to be reviewed and addressed to prevent future incidents. There were definitely many layers to that incident.

    At the moment, I am working on about 4 investigations, working closely with site personnel and coaching them through the process, rather than doing it for them. We have some great tools for investigation, but we still need to facilitate for people to ask enough of the right questions and avoid premature conclusions - instead of just trying to expedite the report to tick the box and get it off our plate, we have a really great opportunity to coach, lead and support others to learn, which then builds their knowledge and skills to lead safety efforts on the sites.
  • The Hazard Register - what is it really for?
    Our master risk register has a risk score but this is hidden when the site registers are created from the master version - for these very reasons. Sites are then provided with risk management training, which provides them with the tools and knowledge to take charge of managing risks relevant to their site and to use the site risk register for their site incident management and investigations. The H&S Team act as coaches and support site personnel to take ownership and learn (noting that there is a very fine line between empowerment and abandonment!!).
  • Smoking in a workshop.
    That's such a great approach!
  • The Hazard Register - what is it really for?
    YES!! But somehow very few safety people even really know how to go about creating a meaningful and useful risk register.

    It is so helpful to start with understanding what you want the risk register to do for you and who is the intended audience - so often that gets lost at the start, and they end up with a jumbled mess that no one can use.

    I am very fortunate to be working with a company at the moment that really gets this. They have a Master Risk Register that covers the entire organisation, and from which site risk registers are created - already that keeps everything strategically and operationally well aligned. Potential consequences are identified, but assessment of likelihood and risk score are kept in the background for the H&S Team to manage. Controls are identified in two main categories - engineering controls and administrative controls. Administrative controls list relevant SOPs, regulatory or industry standards, or elements such as training, The details are in the references listed under the controls. I have seen too many risk registers with a whole list of instructions that should rightly be in a relevant SOP or work instructions. Otherwise you end up with a document that is too complicated for workers to use and too cluttered for executives to use.

    Site managers and HSRs are trained how to use the risk registers as a tool for incident investigation, hazard identification and risk management. They are responsible for reviewing and maintaining their own site register as well as their site H&S Plan, which is also aligned / a subset of the organisation's strategic H&S Plan.

    Site risk registers and H&S Plans are accessible to all via the company's intranet.