Major incidents are rare, but they migrate to sites where managers and workers have a high risk tolerance, writes safety psychologist David Broadbent.
Major incidents are as rare as Black Swans. You have not seen one on site for many years. But they are not extinct, not even endangered.
There are many ‘safety recruitment’ human resources services offering psychometric testing, but we should rather manage safety culture.
I became more attuned to the failure of how we think about risk tolerance after I was squashed by a car.
Minor incident statistics or ‘near misses’ are like amber traffic lights; we speed up and then hesitate, writes safety psychologist David Broadbent.
Safety psychologist David Broadbent explores the anatomy of industrial disasters, and strategies to diagnose and prevent them.
What are the industrial disaster lessons from multi-fatal incidents such as Texas City plant, Deepwater Horizon, and from major safety conferences?
Some organisations practice petty health and safety myths or numbers games. If your employer does, be afraid.
Risk tolerance should be a constant value, but it is often just an attitude or priority, and work priorities change.
Every organisation has a general risk tolerance, and some have a killer culture. Watch out for confidential or fake health and safety data.
The outcome of the investigation into the New Zealand Pike River mining disaster revealed how a company with a killer culture could escape justice.
Safety culture assessment measures your ability to prevent disasters, injuries, and losses, but many people misunderstand the term, safety culture.
Lost time injury frequency rates measure only system failure, and imperfectly at that. Popular health and safety measurement is a silent killer.
Some health and safety professionals have become obsessed with a Zero Harm illusion, an actuarial construct not relevant to work, life, or sport.
As technologies become more complex, we need people with health and safety skills and values, but our recruitment, training and culture investments go down the drain if labour turnover is a revolving door.
Applications of the principles of High Reliability Operations (HRO) in management have been around for a while. Incorporating the five key elements of HROs can give internal integrity to any organisation’s underlying safety culture.
Employers always ask for experience, looking for a bargain appointment, yet ‘experienced’ workers and managers raise safety and leadership risks.
We make large investments in health and safety systems, but we should recognise fundamental human behaviour factors that make our systems work or fail. Personal transport is one of these crucial influences.
Defence and mining sustain dual cultures: one for annual reports, health and safety toolbox talks and ‘zero harm’ signage, another for underground work, night shift, and production bonuses.
Where safety is placed in your management system, and where safety is accounted on your budget, determine part of your corporate safety culture and profit.
Of the 29 USA Massey Energy Montcoal Upper Big Branch coal miners who died in the gas explosion disaster in West Virginia, 17 had pneumoconiosis, and the mine was known to break ventilation laws.
Evidence at the New Zealand Pike River Royal Commission investigating a mining disaster that killed 29 people, prove that some employers and some inspectors are not motivated by safety.
The cost of workplace stress in terms of safety, health, quality and productivity is phenomenal, and the direct link is proven by occupational medicine.
OHS legislation require safe workplaces and procedures, and employers build ‘safety walls’, even recruiting ‘safe people’, but many workers break rules.