Is It Time To Blow The Dust Off Your Safety Manual?

I’m finishing up a review of a client’s safety policies and procedures, and it got me thinking – why do we even have manuals?  I’ve done a number of these reviews and read a lot of manuals.  I’ve decided it is time to rethink how we manage our policies and procedures.   We still need manuals but there is a real need for companies to think through what their purpose is and whether our existing documents meet that purpose.  Here are a four key issues to consider:

Safety manuals tell your story, but what story do they tell?  A few years ago, I got a call from a company that said its manual needed tweaking.   What I found was a monster that took up two massive binders, with loose pages stuck in here and there.  It had been added to, revised and updated until it contained about two feet of gibberish.  Most of it only existed as paper copies with no electronic versions.   Continue reading “Is It Time To Blow The Dust Off Your Safety Manual?”

OSHA Delays Crane…Again

OSHA’s new certification rules for crane operators have been delayed for another year, just one day before they were scheduled to go into effect. This is the second time since 2014 that the certification has been delayed.  According to a pretty good background piece from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO),  OSHA needs to resolve two issues before it is ready to implement the program, “whether operators need to be certified by type and capacity, or just by type; and whether certification is sufficient by itself to deem an operator qualified to operate a crane.”

So OSHA says it will try to address those two issues through a new rulemaking and the new deadline is November 10, 2018, or at least that is the plan.   It is worth noting that OSHA’s database shows there were around 20 fatalities related to crane incidents in 2015.

Three Weeks Until Deadline for OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping…Or Not!

OSHA has said that its new requirement for companies to submit injury and illness reports electronically kicks in on December 1.   But before we get into that, a quick question:

What is a leading cause of safety failures when we institute changes in the workplace?  How about that we fail to communicate the changes to the people on the ground who actually have to implement them?

Keep that in mind as we look at the weird, convoluted path this new requirement is taking.   Continue reading “Three Weeks Until Deadline for OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping…Or Not!”

Supervisor Training – The Safety Guys Weigh In

Supervisor training is becoming a hot topic as companies look for ways to raise productivity and reduce costs.   Last week I had the pleasure of leading a discussion at the  ASSE Bayou Chapter meeting in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

The main question I asked them was this: Based on what you see going on in the field, what should a training program teach your supervisors to help make them effective? Continue reading “Supervisor Training – The Safety Guys Weigh In”

Fed-Ex Exec Nominated To Head OSHA

Mugno (left) 

Scott Mugno, Vice President for Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance at FedEx Ground, has been nominated to be the next head of OSHA, or to give his exact title, Assistant Secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health.  The job has been empty since President Trump took office and the department has been pretty quiet for the last 10 months.  Perhaps it is fitting that the President very quietly released the nomination last Friday, releasing the name in a group of nominees.  So what do we know about Mr. Mugno?

Continue reading “Fed-Ex Exec Nominated To Head OSHA”

Safety – Our Common Language During Tense Times

In November, the leaders of the United States and China, the two most powerful countries on Earth, will meet.  President  Trump and President Xi Jinping sit down together at a time of mounting tension over international trade and maritime boundaries.

This may be a good time to remind ourselves of the thing every country shares – Maritime safety.   I am honored that Maritime Executive has published an essay I wrote on why that international commitment to safety is so important.

You can read it here.


Best Practices on Supervisor Training At The Next ASSE Bayou Chapter Meeting

Please come participate in an open round table discussion on best practices for supervisor training at the next meeting of the ASSE Bayou Chapter at Nichols State College in Thibodaux, Louisiana on Friday, October 27th.  I am honored to be facilitating the discussion on what we need to be teaching supervisors to help turn them into leaders.

In preparing our own supervisor leadership class, we found study-after-study that shows that, depending on what you teach supervisors, classes can help:

  • Reduce your recordables and cut disability claims by up to 47%.
  • Cut crew turnover by 40%.
  • Increase safety compliance by more than 25%.

So let’s put our heads together and see what works and what doesn’t when it comes to training supervisors.   Think about inviting you HR colleagues as well.

The meeting will be held on Friday, October 27th at 11:30 a.m. in the student union building at Nichols State University in Thibodaux, LA.  It is open to ASSE members and non-members are welcome. There is a $25 charge to help fund the chapter’s activities.   Go to for registration information or contact me at

How To Manage Worksite Injuries – New Training Added To Our Supervisory Leadership Class –

Sometimes it is hard to tell whether onsite supervisors help or hurt when it comes to worker injuries.  One complaint I hear comes when they overreact and immediately send an injured employee to an emergency rooms, turning what should have been a simple first aid case into an expensive recordable injury.

Worse, they may under-react and ignore an injury.  Continue reading “How To Manage Worksite Injuries – New Training Added To Our Supervisory Leadership Class –”