A little thought can make all the difference

Beyond Compliance – Creating a Culture of Preparedness

Last week, my friend Trisha McFarlane wrote about her recent tornado experience, and how it applied to the workplace. One of the things I saw was a difference between compliance and preparedness. Trish was prepared. She knew where things were, she calmly instructed her children, and followed the plan. In a safety audit, she wouldContinue Reading

When Management Makes Safety Decisions

As part of job interviews, I ask candidates to tell me about a time when their supervisor required them to do something they truly considered unsafe. I want to know what they did about it. Did they refuse until there were adequate precautions? Did they grumble and just carry on, compounding the issue by havingContinue Reading

Luck and Lottery – Conclusion

In Part 1 and Part 2, I was explaining the relationship of chance-taking and outcome. Specifically, we wait in line to buy tickets for highly improbable though favorable outcomes (lottery), and we take chances on unfavorable outcomes because we think they are highly improbable (many other aspects of our lives). We do the former outContinue Reading

Luck and Lottery – Part 2

At the end of the Part 1 post, I proposed a couple of acronyms: Lottery – Highly Improbable Favorable Outcome (HIFO), I have to consciously decide to buy the ticket. Safety – Highly Improbable Disastrous Outcome (HIDO), I consciously and unconsciously buy tickets. The basic idea I am working from here is that to win the lottery, you needContinue Reading

Luck and Lottery – Part 1

The most frequently heard lottery stories seem to be related to the misfortune of winning. There are news stories and television programs devoted to the exploration of how winning the lottery results in breakdown of the individual or family involved. We don’t however learn about the countless many who win and do not go onContinue Reading

Could You Drive From the Right?

Coming home from work today, I was behind this car in Atlanta traffic, and it struck me that there would be a number of challenges facing even the most experienced driver if they were to find themselves behind the wheel. Turning would be different. You could easily underestimate the position of the car now thatContinue Reading

The Backpack Lean

RSI, or Repetitive Stress Injury, is a dreaded acronym. Employers fear it for the associated worker’s comp costs, and individuals fear it for the possible impact on quality of life. There are many things we do everyday, not just in our workplaces, but in our homes and in just going about our daily business thatContinue Reading

Signage – Do We Care About the Font?

You may have heard the story at the end of September that a Federal mandate is requiring that all street signs be changed to a font called “Clearview” and that signs are not ALL CAPS. The reason is simple enough – the easier a sign is to read, the less a driver’s attention is takenContinue Reading

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Important at Home, Too

In all my years in manufacturing, the subject of  Personal Protective Equipment caused more debate and dissension than you might imagine. What you have to wear, when you have to wear it, if you can have facial hair, your obligation to care for the equipment or share the costs are all topics that sometime evenContinue Reading

Safety in Numbers

I was always good in math, but I was never fond of statistics. Studying engineering in college, I had to take a class called Statistics For Engineers, which was really just like any other stats class, except the questions pertained to engineering problems. My friends assumed that meant the questions were along the lines of:Continue Reading