A little thought can make all the difference

Author Archives: Tim

Do You Take Protective Steps In The Office?

Today my friend Teresa posted the following on Twitter: Accidents are never funny. And the picture of the broken chair can give you an idea of how serious this could have been. I immediately tweeted her back asking why she didn’t routinely check her chair. “I need to do that?” she wondered. I’ve worked aroundContinue Reading

What’s Your Compromise?

Tools. They make work easier. The right tool, applied in the right way, with the right level of skill, can make even the most difficult jobs simpler. Each tool brings us an advantage. In physical terms, it is usually a mechanical advantage. But never a thinking advantage. Tools sometimes make us think less. We don’tContinue Reading

Offense or Defense?

I’ve commented several times about the way we measure safety. Many companies measure accumulated hours worked without incident, but injury rates, or failure rates, are the most common benchmark. We look at the number of failures of the system compared to the number of hours worked in the same time period. This leads to aContinue Reading

Is “Idiot-Proof” The Same As Safer?

The Consumer Products Safety Commission was established to help protect us from design of faulty products. Or, as stated on their website, the commission “…is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.” Much of what they do is anContinue Reading

Safe At Home

This summer will mark 24 years of marriage for my wife and I. We hadn’t been dating very long when  she told me her primary rule: Love me, love my kids. Her children were 8 and 4 at the time, and it was clear that if we were going to continue a relationship, I wouldContinue Reading

More On Obligations

Recently I wrote about my experience with safety obligations. These were three statements that all employees where I work are expected to follow. In writing, and in discussion, they seem clear and easy, but we all have to learn to implement them successfully. When I worked in a facility that put these in place, IContinue Reading

Measuring Opposites

One of the things that struck me as odd when I first starting working in a manufacturing facility is the way we measured safety. The big sign on the way in to the plant indicated the number of days since the last accident. A reminder that unfortunately was set back to “1” far too often.Continue Reading

Can We Control Random Events?

In the past I have written about luck and it’s role in safety. We think we can control everything, but there is very little we truly control. I’ve worked around big machines my whole life. Machines don’t kill people, but people die from making mistakes while working with them. Machines are totally unforgiving of human error, whichContinue Reading

Beyond Compliance–Obligation #3

In my two most recent posts, I explained that I have seen safety performance improve when management puts in place a series of obligations – and then does everything they can to support them. I explained the first two obligations, which are: Refuse to do work that you cannot perform safely. If you see someoneContinue Reading

A Culture of Preparedness – Obligation #2

The other day I took up the challenge from Trish to help managers consider what they can do to assure that we are not just compliant with safety issues, but also prepared and actively managing safety. What I have seen work is embodied in three obligations that belong to each and every employee. The firstContinue Reading