Instilled Safety

Yesterday I attended a presentation put on by the government safety body none as Worksafe.

It was a morning for a few hours comprising of a few OHS advocates from a couple of different areas who introduced us to their OHS achievements and plans in their workplace.

What on presenter brought to mind was that “safety needs to be instilled”. I thought about this and realised that from my experience growing up, I know that my parents wanted to provide a safe environment at home. I also see a lot of parents doing the same thing for their children. Usually in the form of “don’t touch that” which is ultimately the parent enforcing the rule of if you touch that you will get into trouble. But as we grow up, more freedom of choice is available and as a person develops then that person should be able to make up decisions informed from past experience.

Therefore going back to the point, having instilled safety maybe from developed past behaviour moulded from prior learning of what is safe and what is not safe. To have instilled safety would require past experiences that include similar or same situations to the current situation being faced.

Many of us have had different upbringings and facing different situations, therefore the levels of safe awareness vary in degrees. Safety is everyone’s business and what I propose is that by allowing everyone to have an input into what they think is safe can then provide multiple learned experiences and when collated, all experience can improve the culture of the team and the organisation towards instilling safety in the individual.


Get Involved!

It’s not too long before I finish Uni. I have already completed pracwork with a local Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and had great experience in developing a new WHS Management System. I was also involved in an ergonomic assessment of one workstation. It was not a long prac and only consisted of 4 days total, but it was an excellent chance to get insight into real world duties of an OHS at a medium sized company. More pracwork will be attended after I complete my studies, as it is not compulsory to attend prac for this semester, I have volunteered, but the amount of knowledge it has already given me, I definitely recommend anyone in their last semester of Uni to make sure they get out there in the workforce and get involved.

Get Involved

Looking after yourself is looking after others

I have bee recently reading the book by Andrew Sharman, called From Accidents to Zero. Andrew explains that by looking after your own safety, you are also looking after the safety of others around you

Also our individual behaviours are shaped by others around us which collectively form and shape the cultures of the organisations.

 Sharman proposes that we use short daily dialogues such as;

  1. ‘What are you working on today?’
  2. ‘If I were working with you, what would I need to know to be able to work safely?’
  3. ‘How do you think we could make this job even safer?’

These can help in building conversation and develop a safety culture one person at a time.

DuPont goes by ten principles to guide their safety:

  1. Be visible to the organization
  2. Be relentless about your time with people
  3. Recognise your role as teacher/trainer
  4. Develop your own safety skills and pass them along to the organisation
  5. Behave and lead as you desire others to do
  6. Maintain a focus on the safety of oneself as well as for others
  7. Confirm and reconfirm safety as a core organizational value
  8. Place continuous emphasis and clarity around safety expectations
  9. Show a passion for zero injuries, illnesses, and incidents
  10. Celebrate and recognize success

The 2 methods that stood out were; behave and lead as you desire others to do; and, maintain a focus on the safety of oneself as well as for others. Therefore by looking after your own safety, will evidently look after the safety of others and behaving safely should prompt others to assess their own safe behaviour.

Another practice to follow is mindfulness, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that when mindfulness is practised by one person in a family, the whole family will benefit and also become more mindful. This can be applied at the workplace whereby if only one worker is mindful of safety, then his ir her colleagues will become mindful of safety as well.

Sharman defined “Optimistic Influence” as being the Inspiring and motivating positive action in others towards their goals. I believe this means that by influencing and promoting safety in a positive light, by accentuating the benefits and the good things that come about from being mindful of others and safety, then can positive action take effect and produce some astounding outcomes, that is a safe and happy workplace for everyone.

Have a look at Andrew Sharman’s book here;